‘The Help’ actresses talk roles, race and Hollywood

Emma Stone, Viola Davis, Bryce Dallas Howard, Octavia Spencer and Jessica Chastain sit down for a round-table discussion on the film adaptation of Kathryn Stockett’s bestseller.

Did all this estrogen on set create anything other than goodwill for you?
Chastain: I’m a bit new to the business but what scares me is I’ve done 11 films so far, and in all of them, I was the girl on the set. And with this movie, right before I went to film it, and even after I shot it, all the meetings I would go to, in the industry, they would always say, “ooh, how was that set, working with all those women?” They were expecting it to be a negative experience. But to be honest, it was the nicest set I’ve ever been on.

Bryce, how did you embody that villain, Hilly?
Chastain: Her ability to just switch it on like that [snaps her fingers] is like Nurse Ratched. We’d do the scene, cut so they could relight and I’d look over at Bryce and she’d be on the phone [working on another project] saying, “read that back to me.” I’m struggling to be in character and Bryce is producing a movie on the side. She was able to switch it on and off like that.

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Luciana

Waiting for the day I can 'professional fangirl' for a living.