Alfre Woodard’s Husband Had The Secret Sauce To Make Her A Sexy, Adventurous Leading Lady

"I knew that he would be able to find Juanita in a way that I could really inhabit her," Alfre Woodard told ESSENCE.
Danielle Young Mar, 14, 2019

When Netflix tapped Sheila Williams to turn her hit novel, Dancing On The Edge of The Roof into a binge-worthy Netflix flick, she had one woman in mind on who would play the now eponymous role, Alfre Woodard.

“She’s the one we all look past on the bus, but those people have such richness. I wanted an even wider audience to meet and experience Juanita,” Woodard shared with ESSENCE exclusively.

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Woodard then tapped the man closest to her, someone she’s loved and cherished for 40 years to acquire the rights to the 2002 book — her husband, Roderick Spencer.

Spencer and Woodard have been Hollywood royalty for decades, and Woodard knew that her writer, producer and sometimes actor husband could write Juanita in a way that nobody else could.

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“He’s a brilliant writer,” Woodard gushed over her husband. “I knew that he would be able to find Juanita in a way that I could really inhabit her.”

Woodard said that over four decades, her and her husband have an exciting working relationship.

“In a marriage, or in a project, it’s generosity, it’s making that effort more important than anything else,” the actress explained.

Check out the video above to see why Woodard said yes to Juanita, now streaming on Netflix, and more on how she got her husband to write the screenplay.