One of my favorite books of the year has been The Help by Kathryn Stockett. When I posted my thoughts on the civil rights era story back in March, I had fun imagining it as a movie. I even plotted out a cast.
Have you heard the news? The Help will, indeed, become a movie! DreamWorks Studios is filming some of it in Greenwood, Mississippi, recreating Jackson as it might have looked in the 60s. This week, filming is taking place in the actual city of Jackson with scenes taking place at Brent’s Drug Store and at the Mayflower Cafe, a local dining favorite that dates back to the 30s.
My casting picks didn’t fly (well, dang…), but I can see the wisdom in the lead selections. “Skeeter” will be played by Emma Stone, and “Aibileen” will be played by Viola Davis. Bryce Dallas Howard of Twilight fame has been cast as “Hilly,” the snooty Junior League President. Octavia Spencer will play “Minny,” the sassy maid who manages to hang onto employment through her irresistible cooking expertise. Others cast in The Help include Allison Janney as Charlotte Phelan, Skeeter’s mother; and Chris Lowell as Stuart Whitworth, Skeeter’s love interest.
Will the movie be as good as the book? Of course, not. Never happens. But here’s hoping the movie will do the book justice and will be both entertaining and thought provocative.