She noted that the one incident that stands out in her mind is when a white person spat on her when she was a just a child.
In the “The Butler” there is a similar scene where college students sitting in as a protest were attacked and spat on.
“That actually happened to me,” Carey shared. “I know people would be in shock and not really want to believe or accept that, but it did…. That right there, that was almost the deepest thing to me in the movie because I know what she went through — and it happened to be a bus as well. It was a school bus.”
When her co-star Oprah asked where she was spat on, Carey added, “In the face and in the same way (as the movie).”
Carey plays in only a few scenes in the movie as the mother of Forest Whitaker’s character. She is raped off-camera and her husband shot in front of her son’s eyes.
Carey’s parents are white Irish-American and African-American/Venezuelan. She said her mom was disowned by her family for marrying a man of color in 1960. Her parents divorced when she was three.
Last year, she was interviewed by Oprah and spoke of another racially-charged moment from her childhood:
“One of the first memories I have is when I was in kindergarten or nursery school and they asked us to draw a picture of our family; and so I was drawing everybody and I got to my father and I started to make him brown,” she recalled then. “Kindergarten teachers are often young, and the two women were standing behind me giggling. And I turned around, self-conscious, and asked, ‘Why are you laughing?’ And they said, ‘You’re doing that wrong. Why are you making your father the wrong color?’ And I said, ‘No, that’s the color that he is.’ They made me feel like something was wrong with me, that it was a bizarre freakish thing.”