The strong female cast of Kathryn Stockett’s New York Time’s best-seller, turned movie, The Help, dish to GlobalGrind about everything from racism and prejudices to what went into the Oscar nominated film and why the box-office movie became such a huge success.
After word hit that the novel was going to be turned into a film, it easily became one of the years most anticipated films. The movie Touches on taboo issues of racism and gives insight to what African American women went through during the time of the civil rights movement and how poorly they were mistreated.
Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Emma Stone, and Bryce Dallas Howard do an excellent job conveying these roles without being too stereotypical. Their on-screen chemistry makes you feel like you are actually living back in those times! And we have the inside scoop below on how they felt about playing those roles and how they felt being apart of something that delievered such an immense message that was empowering to many.
How much of the prejudice that’s dramatized in this film do you think still exists today?
Octavia Spencer: In the world at large?
In the United States.
Um, I think we’ve made progress but there is still progress that has yet to be made and thank God for a film like The Help that is making us talking about it but that’s just me, what do you guys think?
Viola Davis: I agree with Octavia. I think that absolutely we felt it once the film came out that people were kind of outraged that these types of films are still being made. And the wonderful thing that came out of that was just great discourse. I hope that this kind of encourages Hollywood to keep making films with a cast that looks like this, a racially diverse cast, a female cast because I think that that would be the biggest statement of progress in and of itself.
What was it like the book, the research, the sets, the clothes, going back in time and experiencing what these ladies went through…Can anyone put that into words?
Allison Janney(?): I would say that Tate was wonderful in getting us all down there early before we shot and making us watch this wonderful documentary called Eyes on the Prize that really opened our eyes and reminded us of what a terrible time that was in our history in America and how important was to never forget it. It was truly inspiring and filled us with so much watching that. And just the heat down there that was, that played a huge part in making us feel very much part of the South that is a whole character unto us own, 113 degree weather. And the incredible costumes that Sharon Davies designed with all the girdles and the under things that we wore in that heat. There was so much that we went through to try and recreate that time in history and it was an extraordinary experience to get to be with all these amazing women and incredibly handsome gentleman behind me. It made for a really delicious summer of just love and pain and everything it should be… and that’s all I have to say on the matter.
Was there a point when you guys were either reading for the parts or filming the movie that you realized the film could garner this much acclaim or really resonate with such a wide audience? Was it while you were filming or while you were reading that you had an idea it would have this large of an impact?
Bryce Dallas Howard: I think we all were so excited about the book and loved it but definitely was an enormous amount of pressure. So many people had read this book and were attached to their ideas of these characters but it’s such a wonderful team of women and there was so much chemistry there that we didn’t have to create. I think probably from the get go I think everyone would agree that we knew it was something special weather everyone saw it or not…and thankfully they did.
What made this movie so wonderful was the chemistry all of you guys had and I’m wondering filming down in the South if you got to cut loose a little bit and if you had any fun moments that you’d like to share when you weren’t filming.
Viola Davis: Thank God for moonshine, lemon pie, friend butter on friend bread. I think we had to cut loose on this one. I mean we needed an escape from this time period to remind us that we weren’t REALLY in this time period. And really being in Greenwood, Mississippi, instead of being in a sound stage in Los Angeles we were kind of forced, happily forced to be with each other and have a lot of laughs with apple pie moonshine at night. And I think that’s what you see, is that love that bonding that happened during those fabulous times, I mean that’s when we really built an ensemble.