The Oscars continue to get by with a little help from the actresses of “The Help.” With Jessica Chastain‘s Best Actress victory on Sunday for “The Eyes of Tammy Faye,” “The Help” has now seen five of its actresses win Oscars since it was released in 2011. Prior to Chastain, Octavia Spencer, Viola Davis, Emma Stone and Allison Janney all took home a little gold man in the past decade.
“I think that’s actually a testament to [director] Tate Taylor and his incredible skills at casting,” Chastain said backstage Sunday when asked about “The Help” stars’ golden run. “And he fought for me to be in ‘The Help.’ I definitely wasn’t the obvious choice for the part of Celia Foote. I didn’t look like her, I didn’t sound like her, and he fought for me for that role and it really goes to show his respect and his admiration for actresses. And I think you can see that in the careers that the women have had since his film. When you look back at what we made and put out in 2011, many of us were at the very, very beginning of our careers and so I thank Tate Taylor for that.”
SEE Watch Jessica Chastain’s Best Actress Oscar speech
Chastain, Spencer and Davis were all nominated for “The Help,” but only Spencer prevailed, taking Best Supporting Actress over Chastain, while Davis lost Best Actress to Meryl Streep (“The Iron Lady”). Davis, in supporting, and Stone, in lead, won their Oscars in the same year for 2016’s “Fences” and “La La Land,” respectively, with Davis beating Spencer, who was up for “Hidden Figures.” Janney joined the club the very next year with her Best Supporting Actress triumph for “I, Tonya,” (2017), also defeating Spencer (“The Shape of Water”), and we even got a mini reunion at the ceremony.
#TheHelp ladies doing it!!! #Oscars pic.twitter.com/nweSlKwwS3
— Viola Davis (@violadavis) March 5, 2018
“The Help” could’ve increased its tally of post-release Oscar-winning actresses by two on Sunday as Aunjanue Ellis was also nominated for her supporting turn in “King Richard,” but she lost to Ariana DeBose (“West Side Story”).
In total, seven stars of “The Help” have now won Oscars. At the time of the film’s release, Mary Steenburgen and Sissy Spacek were the only members of the ensemble cast who were Oscar champs — and they were crowned in the same year with the former nabbing Best Supporting Actress for 1980’s “Melvin and Howard” and the latter taking Best Actress honors for “Coal Miner’s Daughter.” The cast also included the late Cicely Tyson, who was nominated for Best Actress for 1972’s “Sounder” and received an honorary Oscar in 2018. With Ellis a first-time nominee this year, nine stars of “The Help” have earned Oscar nominations — and all women to boot.
So the now the question is: Which star of “The Help” will win next?
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