The Help: Interviews

Mimi ON Oct 25, 2011 AT 10:36 am

The Help

The Help

The Help, based on the critically acclaimed book by Kathryn Stockett about a female author (Emma Stone) during the civil rights movement of the 1960′s has been an big international hit and features Emma Stone, Viola Davis, and Octavia Spencer. It revolves around Stone’s character who decides to write a book detailing the African American Maid’s point of view on the White families they work for, and their hardships they go through on a day to day basis.

Under the careful direction of Tate Taylor, the movie has started buzz for various award nominations for the talented cast involved and I was lucky enough to meet Tate, Emma Stone and Viola Davis when they were in London and talked to them about the film. And I had to ask Emma about that really crispy, curly hair, thank goodness she told me it was a wig! Her hair in real life is super shiny and her eyes are the most amazing shade of green I’ve ever seen, she was in really good spirits considering they’ve been on the road constantly. I was pleased to see she was the quirky, clever funny girl you hoped she’d be.

Read my interview with them below:

Tate Taylor on the film…

Mimi: How did you relate to this film and really bring the theme together?

Tate: I grew up in Mississippi in the 1970s, I’ve known Kathryn since I was five years old; there were women who resemble characters in the movie, but in a loving and caring way. These women are my heroes and shaped my life, and although this wasn’t a tribute, there was a need to expose their life and importance of those figures.

M: Has it been difficult to handle all of the press surrounding the movie?

On the set of The Help

On the set of The Help

T: Kathryn Stockett has been my best friend for years, and after all her hard work nobody wanted to publish her book. In my opinion, a lot of people criticise and think they know but they don’t. They saw the maids and the Civil Rights Movement, and didn’t see that those characters were a backdrop for a much bigger plot. And because of our friendship, there was no pressure, just authenticity.

M: Hollywood has really changed over the years especially in casting choices. Did you ever feel that there was there pressure to cast famous actresses?

T: I was very stubborn about this process because after the book came out and became such a hit, everybody was calling and wanted an audition. But a few roles, I had already cast, and was sure that they could play that specific role and only them. And there was a brief time when many famous actresses read the book, and called me directly to say they wanted a part, but I wasn’t concerned about that. It was about finding the best person for the part, not putting a name on the movie. We made the movie the old fashioned way and I really enjoy that process.

Continue reading to see what Emma Stone and Viola Davis had to say about the film…

Mimi: How does it feel being part of this movie’s amazing success as you travel around the world?

Viola Davies: It’s a success, and we love each other, great storyline. And it’s about something, and a mind-blowing success, I have to take a step back sometimes.

Emma Stone in The Help

Emma Stone in The Help

M: You have worked a lot on Broadway so how do you feel about working on film?

VD: I think people don’t understand that actors spend most of their life struggling in unemployment. And to have your work out there, especially as an African-American actress is huge.

M: How did you approach the part?

VD: My mother and grandmother and many women I grew up with their maids, because that’s what black women did in the South for work. There was no phone, no electricity, and hot water was a luxury and that was just the mark of poverty that we lived in.

Emma Stone wearing Luca Luca at the london premiere for The Help

Emma Stone wearing Luca Luca at the London premiere for The Help

M: Did either of you share any characteristics with your character?

Emma Stone: I did with my role, because I we were both lucky enough to know our path at a young age, because I personally moved to Hollywood at 15. And we were both were fortunate enough have people who were encouraging and reassured you that even if your dreams were a little far-fetched, that they were still possible. I moved to LA for my career with my best friend so was very lucky to have that friendship and support.

M: Was there concern about the controversy of making this film?

VD: I knew the controversy was coming, because it’s about black maids in 1961 Mississippi.  Hollywood does not have diverse stories for African-Americans, and showing that stigma of the stereotype is common so I get the backlash. But beyond all that, these characters are human beings.

M: Emma, the movies that have made you popular have been mostly comedy. Do you prepare differently for comedy to a dramatic role?

ES: Comedy often feels incredibly dramatic, and it was just as challenging as any other role. At the end of the day you’re sitting in a scene and there needs to be that quality and relationship. And this character resonated with me, and after reading the script I fell in love with it.

M: What do you want the audience to learn from The Help?

VD: That the power in women doesn’t lie in their cuteness. If I were to tell women something, it would be to cultivate values other than your appeal to men. It’s the only value that women have that can’t be taken away, and doesn’t undermine other women.

ES: I’m flattered that people put me on best-dressed lists, etc. but this doesn’t interest or concern me, as much as my acting. I hope that there is so much more to offer, because I have been honest about who I am and don’t court that kind of publicity, I’m just not that kind of girl.

The Help is out tomorrow (26.10.11) and we’d definitely recommend you heading out to see it. It’s a really brilliant film.

Watch the trailer here…

 

 

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