TODAY

TODAY   |  April 17, 2013

Abigail Spencer: I was ‘moved’ by ‘Rectify’ script

Actress Abigail Spencer is starring in a six-episode Sundance Channel series called “Rectify,” playing the sister of a man who’s trying to put his life back together after serving 19 years on Death Row. Kathie Lee reveals how she helped the 31-year-old actress kick-start her career.

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>>> confinement only to be released into a world you no longer understand. that is the premise. that's what happens to one man in "rectify." inspired by real-life events and abigail spencer worked tirelessly to get her brother free from prison. look at what happens.

>> it's perfect. you are perfect, brother.

>> hello, daniel.

>> hello, mother.

>> oh, well, well, well.

>> abigail is with us. she plays the sister. it takes place in six episodes?

>> yes, the first season, six chapters is what we're calling it.

>> but imagine what it's like to come out of solitary -- well, he took a few showers, he came out once in a while . no, this is raw stuff, it really is. it was a little raw for me to watch. my practically my daughter doing things like that on television, but you are so awesome on this.

>> thank you so much.

>> i'm so proud of you.

>> it does have difficult subject matter.

>> it was the writer. one of the most incredible writers. i'm from the south, so i'm drawn to this contemporary culture/counterculture. five pages in, i heard her voice, i never heard the name amantha. i was changed.

>> i think it's "the daily beast " called it one of the hottest --

>> the best.

>> you put a lot of work into it and you wonder how it will be received.

>> it's shot in griffin, georgia, a tight-knit group of actors, and we're doing this beautiful work and we can share it with the world and they're responding. it's very unique.

>> it's shot differently. it allows real pauses to happen like they do in real life . it's done so well.

>> our first season is basically the first week of his release.

>> so you stopped doing -- tentatively. it had to be darn good and go, i'm going to do tv now.

>> just the writing and the storytelling. when you find a really great piece of writing that fits --

>> we need to talk about your history. i don't know if everyone knows the connect between you two. what is it exactly?

>> you never get it right, but go ahead.

>> you're kind of my fairy godmother .

>> i was absolutely madly in love, everybody knew it, with abigail 's dad when i was 15 years old, he was my surfer, there he is, one of the greatest human beings i have ever ever known, and then he married a beautiful lady named lydia. they had children, beautiful kids. 17 years later --

>> and then they had abigail .

>> i got to tell the story. sorry, guys. abigail comes to the show with regis. she's there with her mom, she comes into my dressing room, and she said what am i going to do? she said, i'm an actress.

>> how old were you?

>> 17. i got ahold of would you see this young woman who is here? she went over and auditioned for "all my children."

>> of course you did.

>> and then then went off and totally forgot about her fairy godmother . live with me for three months and ate all the salsa out of my house. "rectify" premieres on is notdance channel next month at april 22nd .

>> and lydia, you can't watch