While Tate Taylor had optioned the film rights to “The Help” from his childhood friend Kathryn Stockett before it was published, he had to fend off major Hollywood players when it became a bestseller. “They definitely were hoping that I would eventually give up or cave and decide I wasn’t the guy,” revealed Taylor during a video chat with Gold Derby. “This stubborn guy from Mississippi was not going to let go of his pursuit.”
With a domestic gross of almost $170 million and a 75% approval rating at Rotten Tomatoes, “The Help” is among the leading Best Picture contenders. Our odds have it at 1/10 to land a bid while Taylor is at 3/10 to be nominated for his adaptation and a longshot at 25/1 for a directing nod. Leading lady Viola Davis and supporting player Octavia Spencer are Oscar frontrunners as well.
Taylor was committed to filming in his home state and admitted, “It’s been frustrating throughout cinematic history to be watching people try to get it right. There’s just no faking Mississippi, and I had to film it there. I wanted the cast to be there. I wanted Viola and Octavia to be in the Mississippi Delta where many of the ghosts of our past you can still feel.” He added, “I wanted to be there visually, spiritually, for motivational reasons. We never had to use fake sweat. All that sweat you see on the actresses was real.”