Octavia Spencer Playing Role Written For Her In The Help

By Katey Rich 2010-05-18 12:49:22discussion comments
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If you've been keeping up with our coverage of the movie adaptation of Kathryn Stockett's novel The Help, you've probably realized that no one else in the movie blogosphere is as invested in this thing more than I am. I loved the book and I'm rooting for the movie's success, but there have been some red flags. You can read about most of them here, where I puzzled over the decision to cast Bryce Dallas Howard as the key villainous character Hilly Holbrook. The book is set in early 1960s Jackson Mississippi and follows young Skeeter Phelan (to be played by Emma Stone), a white woman who decides to write a book documenting the true experiences of black domestic workers, a.k.a. "the help."

With Viola Davis on board to play one of the housekeepers interviewed, the next big casting job was for Minny, the outspoken and younger housekeeper who works for Howard's Hilly and has trouble holding back her disdain for the snobby and condescending white people who employ her. It's a tough role, but director Tate Taylor seems to have struck on some perfect casting-- EW reports that the role will be played by Octavia Spencer, the actress and childhood friend of Stockett's who inspired the character of Minny to begin with.

Taylor is also a friend of Stockett's and Spencer's, which raises the question of why it took so long for him to cast her to begin with. Regardless, Spencer will at least be perfect at embodying the character she inspired, which may make up for some of the iffy Southern accents and mannerisms that the rest of the cast may bring (Emma Stone, I have my eye on you).
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