“The Help” is a new movie based on the phenomenally successful 2009 book by Kathryn Stockett about black maids in the 1960s South raising white children. It stars Emma Stone and Viola Davis (among a huge cast of famous women), who spoke with Coming Soon about their experience on the film.
“Everybody was talking about it, everybody. You gotta read the ‘The Help,’ it’s so powerful,” says Davis, who plays Aibileen. “So I finally read it and was like, ‘I need to buy the rights to this book. I need to option it, I need to produce it, I need to star in it.”
She also says she didn’t have to do much research about her character because she’s from a family of women just like Aibileen.
“These characters like Aibileen and Minnie, they’re just my family. I know those women,” says Davis. “They are very specific in my history … I didn’t have to even search, I could have emotional recall.”
While Stone may not have such personal experience to call on, she says she feels so lucky to have the book to use as a character study.
“When I read a book, I feel like I know those characters … I’ve never gotten to actually be in the movie version of a book before,” says Stone. “Skeeter felt pretty fleshed out to me from the book and understanding that character as a reader. Attempting to play her, it made it not easier, but it gave you more of a … depth, it just felt like Skeeter was on the page a lot of the time in the book and it was really so incredibly helpful.”
“The Help” opens nationwide on Wednesday, Aug. 10.