Publicity for ‘The Help’ (novel) is in full drive over here in the UK which is great as I loved the book and think more people need to go out and read it.
The book and the film are going to deal with mainly women and that is even better news as we all know how rare female orientated films are.
Well they have now added to the cast. The role of Celia Foote, an insecure Southerner trying to fit in with the high society crowd and generally not succeeding will be played by ‘Tree of Life’s’ Jessica Chastain (Pictured right). For me this role had Anne Faris written all over it, but oh well.
It is a devastating role that really needs someone to be both comedic, dumb and heart breaking all at the same time. Let’s hope she can nail it.
The rest of the cast is shaping out very nicely as well.
We all know Viola Davis is taking the role of Aibileen Clark who is co lead with two other roles (and she will kill this!), but the rest of cast is becoming interesting.
Bryce Dallas Howerd is playing local racist bitch Hilly Holbrook (I was routing For SMG – Buffy herself).
Emma Stone is Eugenia ‘Skeeter’ Phelan the naïve white girl and part of the three leads of the book and the fantastic Octavia Spencer (pictured left) is going to play Minny Jackson which could very well be the role that changes her career - for starters it is another co-lead, secondly the character is a doozy.
Minny is outspoken, funny, rude, and very complex and I have no doubt this gifted comedienne can pull it off.
Her resume may not have a lot of large roles but as they always say, when funny people take a more dramatic role, things usually pay off.
She was lauded for her small role in Will Smiths ‘Seven Pounds’ and was in Entertainment Weekly’s 25 Funniest Actresses in Hollywood in April 2009. Plus she is a native of Montgomery, Alabama so she knows the South.
However the main question is just how good a screenwriter and director is Tate Taylor? Sure he is a nice piece to look at, but can he pull off such a wonderful and subtle book?
His resume does not really leave you with hope, but then again many people said the same thing about Lee Daniels before ‘Precious’ was seen.
What does give me a little hope is that he is a very good friend of Kathryn Stockett who wrote the book (from her own experience) so the pressure will be on to get her vision across (one can only hope she is there on set to breathe down his neck).
I mean can you imagine directing the film of a friends critically lauded book and completely destroying it! Yikes.
Only time will tell, but please, for the love of Madonna Tate – do not f*ck this up.