When Emma Stone made her film debut in 2007’s Superbad, she felt like an unusual breath of fresh air — a brand-new teen actress who could already boast a fully formed personality. If it took her a few years to find her groove, well, she’s certainly found it now. Stone, who landed one high-profile comedy every year since Superbad — 2008’s The House Bunny, 2009’s Zombieland, and then irrevocably broke out with 2010’s Easy A, has been everywhere this summer, charming all the while. She’s brought her particular brand of husky-voiced good humor to three roles, a cameo in Friends with Benefits, a romance with Ryan Gosling in Crazy, Stupid, Love, and today’s conscientious drama The Help. At only 22, Stone already seems like a full-blown movie star: Can The Help do anything but help her cause? To get a sense of her esteem in Hollywood, we polled industry insiders and asked them one simple question: If Emma Stone were a stock, would you buy, sell, or hold?
Stock History: Let one impressed studio chief we spoke to detail Stone’s back story: “She told her mom when she was 15 years old that she was moving to L.A. to become an actress. Her parents believed in her so much that the mom moved her life out here, too, believing it was a matter of time.” The Stones ended up moving into short-term furnished rentals already filled with other families dipping a toe into the child-actor waters. “Most of those people come out because their kid is cute and has a few commercials,” noted the studio chief. “This was different: Her mom knew she was coming out and wasn’t buying a round-trip ticket, because she wasn’t coming back.”
Stone had some early near-misses with reality and TV stardom, that, in retrospect, kept her movie career on track. At age 15, she entered the unlikely VH1 reality competition In Search of the New Partridge Family and won the role of Laurie Partridge for a potential series remake that thankfully never advanced beyond the pilot stage. Two years later, she auditioned to play the cheerleader on Heroes, and found out that Hayden Panettiere got the part just before she went in to read, a moment she later called “rock bottom.”
But those years of relative obscurity worked in her favor, forcing her to try to make it in film, which she has obviously done. Since Superbad Stone has worked steadily, and crucially, in rowdy movies with boy appeal, not standard-issue romantic comedies. She’ll try to work the same magic in 2012, when she plays Gwen Stacy to Andrew Garfield’s Peter Parker in the down-to-earth reboot The Amazing Spider-Man.
Peers: She’s at the head of a pack that includes established stars like Scarlett Johansson (26), Rachel McAdams (32), and Keira Knightley (26), as well as comers like Blake Lively (23), Olivia Wilde (27), and now Rooney Mara (25).
Market Value: Pretty decent. She’s had the luck of appearing in several successful comedies, and though Crazy, Stupid, Love wasn’t quite the box office sleeper the studio was hoping for, its ensemble nature will protect Stone from any dents. More importantly, she managed to open Easy A all by her lonesome, and its eventual $58 million gross left other female-targeted films in the dust, including Love and Other Drugs, Morning Glory, and the Katherine Heigl vehicles Life as We Know It and Killers. The Help will be the first movie since Easy A she’s had to open alone, but even if it doesn’t do that well, she’s got a safety net: a spider’s one.
What Hollywood Thinks: “She’s unbelievably versatile,” raved the studio chief. “She has dramatic chops and comedic chops. But more, she’s got enough tomboy in her that she seems like someone who’d have a good relationship with her brothers. And she’s ‘relatable’ – which means she doesn’t look like she wants to fuck your boyfriend.”
Added this studio mogul, “I think it says everything about her that she’s blonde naturally, but dyes her hair red: In a town where everyone wants to be blonde and be a girl named ‘Muffin,’ she doesn’t want to be ordinary.”
“She’s right at the top of her age group: She has the Spider-Man franchise now, and she seems to work in both comedy and drama,” said one agent we spoke to. “And she has, as they say, that ‘approachable’ beauty – sort of like Jen Aniston had in the early nineties — and is not intimidating, like, say, Megan Fox.”
Stone’s relative youth means that “she hasn’t had any of the inevitable ups and downs” and even though one may be coming in the oddly-timed release of The Help, she’s not likely to be hurt by it.
“Why the hell are they releasing The Help in August?” asks our agent, adding, “It’s very peculiar. But even if it gets lost, it probably won’t hurt her, because she has so many other slam-dunks in the can. She has to be one of the hottest actors in the business right now.”
Of course, that’s not to say things can’t go off the rails — after all, look what happened to Kirsten Dunst: “For young women it’s very, very competitive, more so than for men,” explains the agent, “There are so few rugged leading men, but the women, there’s a lot of them, and so the town is very unforgiving to women, while someone like Tom Hardy will get shot after shot after shot.” SMH there.
The Analysis: No matter how it does, a serious-issues drama like The Help is going to be an asset for Stone, coming along at just the right time to break her comic typecasting. Her next two projects will help expand the town’s perception of her: She just signed on to play the femme fatale caught between Sean Penn and Ryan Gosling in the period picture Gangster Squad, and even her love interest role in Spider-Man gives her room to stretch: When she was first cast in the then-secretive project, everyone assumed she’d be playing the confident, redheaded Mary Jane, in what seemed like a perfect pick. Instead, she’s playing gentle, blond Gwen Stacy, subtly tweaking our expectations of her.
“I think she’s doing everything right at the moment,” raved one top manager. “The Help has a weird release, but I hear it’s good, so hopefully it’ll stay with us into the fall. And there’s Gangster Squad, which is an interesting project. She has breadth. Maybe the next step is to engineer her own success and develop something for herself, attach herself as a producer, because any studio would make a movie with her now.”
The studio chief disagreed somewhat: “I don’t think she needs to develop her own stuff; I think that’s a different talent and one I’m not sure that she has. But she can make it just be being selective. She makes the smart choices and goes after them like nobody else; I mean, she went after Easy A like no one has ever gone after a role before.”
He added, “She has the ‘c’ word. With Sharon Stone, it means something else, but with Emma Stone, it means ‘charisma.’ There’s something so charismatic about her.”
The Bottom Line: And it’d be a shame to waste that charisma in supporting parts. Stone is smart to pick great ensembles to work with, and we’re looking forward to Spider-Man and Gangster Squad, but let’s hope she can find some 2013 projects where she gets to be the star, and not just the love interest.
Buy/Sell/Hold: Strongest Possible BUY.
Emma Stone maintains modesty in interviews, telling OnTheRedCarpet.com that she never felt totally confident that she could play Eugenia “Skeeter” Phelan in “The Help,” despite the increasingly loud Oscar buzz surrounding the actress.
“I still don’t know if I could be Skeeter,” Stone told OnTheRedCarpet.com in a recent press junket. “I knew I wanted to play Skeeter from reading the script and reading the book. I knew that I understood facets of Skeeter, but it was Tate who gave me that opportunity. I don’t think there has ever been a day where I felt ‘I know I can do this for a fact,’ that’s never been something in my [head].”
In “The Help,” Stone plays Eugenia “Skeeter” Phelan, an aspiring writer and college graduate who was partially raised by a black maid in 1960s Mississippi. She decides to write a book from the perspective of “the help,” with the help of Aibileen (Viola Davis), Minnie (Octavia Spencer) and their peers.
When Entertainment Tonight asked Stone about the Oscar buzz, she joked, “Oh, is that what that is? I thought that was a fly. Well, it hasn’t even come out yet, so I hope that people just come to see the movie and enjoy it.”
“The Help” is based on a 2009 novel by Kathryn Stockett. It also stars Bryce Dallas Howard of “Twilight” fame, whose character acts snotty around the “help.”
Emma Stone has cemented herself as the summer’s hottest actress, appearing opposite Ryan Gosling in “Crazy, Stupid, Love” and dumping Justin Timberlake in “Friends with Benefits.” The 22-year-old actress will also play Peter Parker’s blonde love interest Gwen Stacy in “The Amazing Spider-Man,” opposite her rumored boyfriend, “The Social Network” actor Andrew Garfield.
Emma Stone and her equally in-demand fellow actress Olivia Wilde were named beauty ambassadors for Revlon cosmetics on Wednesday. Their first campaigns will appear in early 2012, according to People magazine.
Emma Stone rose to fame with the teen comedy films “Superbad” in 2007 and “Easy A” in 2010, which earned her a Golden Globe nomination.
The Help, one of the first thoughtful and emotionally-evocative dramas in a summer jam packed with explosive event film offerings, is now in theaters. Adapted from the bestselling novel by Kathryn Stockett, the film stars Emma Stone, Bryce Dallas Howard, Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Jessica Chastain, Allison Janney, and Sissy Spacek.
Set in Jackson, Mississippi amidst the racial turbulence of the 1960s The Help takes a look at the more intimate social politics of the time – rather than the broad societal conditions. It explores, as novelist Kathryn Stockett says, “How it all worked out in the kitchen.”
The film follows the story of four women that (each in their own way) are living at the edges of the popularly accepted Southern culture of the time. Skeeter, who is striving for a career as a journalist at a moment in history when marriage and babies were the markers of a woman’s worth, Celia a woman judged by the poverty of her youth and her inherently uninhibited sexuality, as well as Aibileen and Minny — two of the maids who silently worked and lived in an existence that seemed pre-ordained for them.
Eugenia ‘Skeeter’ Phelan (Stone) is a young woman who just returned from College and is given her first foot in the door as a journalist – a domestic column for the local newspaper. Being less than inclined toward the domestic arts, she seeks the advice of her best friend’s maid, Aibileen (Davis). Skeeter soon shifts her focus from collecting housekeeping tips to investigating the lives of the women that support and enable the lives of wealthy Southern families that she grew up with – The Help. The African American maids that raise the children, and make the sweet ambrosia for bridge parties, but often lived either as specters at the edges of their employers lives, or (by the worst of the employers) as tolerated (but necessary) evils.
A few weeks ago we had the opportunity to sit down in roundtable interviews with novelist Kathryn Stockett, director Tate Taylor, songwriter Mary J. bilge (who wrote an original song for the film) and the cast of The Help – to talk about working on a movie that was in many ways a family affair, the pleasure of bringing these rich characters to life, and looking back at a time, a place and a culture that holds painful collective memories.
Memories of a history that, as Emma Stone points out, many people still know very little about today:
“I don’t know if it’s my generation or if it’s just me, but I didn’t know the levels, the depths, the intricacies. I didn’t know on a day to day basis what life was like [then]. I learned a huge amount of it through this story (even though it’s fictional) and through researching the time period more, but I really hope for my generation that they will go see this movie because I don’t know that we know as much as we should about our very recent history.”
Even before Kathryn Stockett’s novel was released an intimate, or as director Tate Taylor calls it, “incestuous” web of connections began to form to make the movie possible.
Childhood friends Taylor and Stockett grew up together in the Jackson, Mississippi that serves as the backdrop for both the novel and the film, The Help (thought they grew up several years after this story takes place). Stockett, a woman who has little interest in Hollywood and confesses that the last movie she has seen in the theater is Seabiscuit, was not driven by the prospect of making a film — she was writing a novel.
Her friend and budding director, Tate Taylor, on the other hand would read the manuscript as it was being written and knew the book had potential to make a wonderful movie. He also knew that he had to be the one to make it. It took some convincing, but he eventually convinced Stockett that he was the man for the job, and to give the rights to him.
As Stockett explains it:
“The thing that really kind of broke me, and it wasn’t like a huge argument that we had about whether he would make the movie. What really got under my skin was he said, ‘Katy if you don’t give me the rights to The Help some kind of Hollywood type or,” the author continued teasingly, “I mean God knows like a Canadian might get them and chances are they will try to make this movie, and they’ll get scared and it will sit on the shelf and it’ll never be made.’ And I think you (Taylor) were right cause’ you pushed through a lot of walls to get it made.”
“I may have been trying to scare you a bit” Taylor laughingly confessed to Stockett. ”But I’ve just been out here and you hear of these great projects…I think of ‘The Secret History’ that’s one you had always talked about. That’s one that, as you know, they put expensive writers on and then people don’t like it and then they bring on another expensive writer and all these people get involved and gets whittled and ugh. I just didn’t want that to happen.”
The history that Taylor and Stockett share is a reflection of the very stories that each were bringing to the world with both the novel, The Help, as well as its cinematic adaptation.
“Both of our moms were divorced,” Stockett explained.
“Our moms were Celia’s,” Taylor continued. “Honestly they were not accepted in Jackson society at all. We both saw the pain that it caused them.”
Celia, the character that actress Jessica Chastain brings so vividly to life in this film, is a Marilyn Monroe-esque woman from poverty stricken Sugar Ditch, Tennessee. A vibrant, life-loving (if somewhat inappropriate) woman who is outcast by the Jackson society ladies in the film – who are threatened by what Chastain describes as her “innocent sensuality” and “color-blind” point of view. Color blind due to the unique nature of her integrated upbringing in Sugar Ditch — where everyone was equally poor.
Stockett explained that as the children of single working mothers, “the woman that we would come home to was the black woman that was working for our moms because our moms were working in an office.”
Taylor continued, saying, “It was a different dynamic because my mom and Carol, the woman that raised me (who’s also in the movie – when Aibileen comes into the church and says, ‘who are we clapping for?’ and the woman says; ‘They’re clapping for you’ that’s the woman that raised me) she and my mom had a really great relationship, I mean they…”
“That was more of a partnership,” Stockett interjected.
“Yeah,” Taylor contained, “but that was like Celia and Minny. My mom was a single mom trying to support me being a real estate agent and three months went by and she had not sold anything. Luckily I was at that age where franks and beans is gourmet so she just kept opening up the cans. But she had Carol. Carol was a single mom with three kids and it was really cool because Carol would take care of me and sometimes mom would take care of Carol’s kids. They would come spend the night with us one weekend. So it was different. It was the South and the African American care-giver but more of the Celia/Minny relationship. So what spoke to me in the book was that bond between like Mae Mobley (the three year-old white child Aibileen cares for) and Aibileen. As well as that going against the grain relationship (of Minny and Celia) – which is still against the grain – a black woman and a white woman being friends in the ‘70s and just taking care of each other.”
“It was much more of a hierarchy,” Stockett revealed of her own upbringing.
“After school I went to my grandmother’s house and it was her maid Demetry and my grandmother grew up in Shanghai. So she’s American but she understood class and enunciation and that the maid did this and that she was the woman of the house. So that was a different dynamic. But still, we just, you know, we came home to that face and those arms around us.”
Understanding the confusing weave of the bonds and distrust between these caregivers and their employers is at the center of the stories told in The Help.
Stay tuned for part two of our coverage of The Help which addresses art imitating life in casting as well as what the cast and creators had to say about shedding light onto the South’s painful past.
The Help opens in theaters today, August 10th.
Selena Gomez has said she looks up to Emma Stone and Emma tells HollywoodLife.com she appreciates the compliment! She also talks about whether or not she’d duet with BFF Taylor Swift
Emma Stone looked beautiful at The Help premiere last night in LA, and she stopped on the red carpet to chat with us about fellow young celebrities Selena Gomez and Taylor Swift. Selena has listed Emma as a Hollywood figure she looks up to, explaining “I feel like she is doing really great, fun roles, but also roles that display her talent.”
We asked Emma last night what she thought of Selena seeing her as a mentor and she smiled and responded, “That is very sweet!”
We also asked her if she’d ever do a duet with her close friend Taylor Swift. Emma’s revealed that she’s been in a VH1 singing competition before, and so we were curious if she’d use her pipes alongside Taylor’s. “Oh, I doubt it. My voice isn’t that great!” laughed Emma.
In case you weren’t paying attention, this has been, according to Vanity Fair magazine, the “Red-Hot Summer of Emma Stone.”
That headline was accompanied by a sexy bikini shot of the 22-year-old actress who has had three movies open in as many weeks. The first two – “Friends with Benefits” and “Crazy, Stupid, Love” – were only set-ups for the main attraction – a career-making performance in the period drama “The Help,” which opened Wednesday.
Based on the best-selling book by Kathryn Stockett, Stone plays a young woman from Jackson, Miss., who returns to her hometown in 1963 after college with dreams of becoming a writer. As the civil rights movement swirls around them, her white friends are interested only in living empty, but comfortable lives while oblivious to the black maids who clean their houses, cook their meals and raise their children.
Skeeter (Stone) cannot accept the life offered her, and she eventually persuades many of the maids to tell their stories. Those stories are turned into a book that scandalizes the town during a tense moment in history when civil rights leader Medger Evers is murdered outside his Jackson home.
“The Help” is a major career shift for Stone, who has shown considerable promise in lighter fare such as “Superbad,” “Zombieland” and “Easy A.”
“The Help” has delivered on that promise, and her star no doubt will ascend even more next year with the opening of “The Amazing Spider-Man,” in which she plays the superhero’s girlfriend Gwen Stacey.
Although she grew up in Arizona, she moved to Los Angeles early to pursue acting, and her parents still have the home in Newport Beach they bought to be near her.
A natural blonde, Stone is more familiar to movie audience as a redhead, but it is her distinctive laugh and raspy speaking voice that never changes.
Laughing frequently, she explained why she was shocked by the Vanity Fair bikini photo, how “Saturday Night Live” helped her realize a dream and what she has learned about what she didn’t learn in school about the civil rights movement.
ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Who is that woman on the cover of Vanity Fair magazine?
EMMA STONE: What do you mean?
Q. A couple of years ago, you were a promising young independent film actress. When did you become a big movie star?
A. (laughs) When was I in an independent film?
Q. What about “Zombieland?”
A. That was a Sony picture.
Q. What about “Superbad?”
Q. “Easy A?”
A. Screen Gems
Q. “The House Bunny?”
A. Columbia Pictures.
Q. Have you ever made an independent movie?
A. Maybe one.
Q. Apparently I don’t know what I’m talking about. I don’t suppose the new “Spider-Man” movie is an independent film?
A. I don’t think so (laughs).
Q. Forget what I said. Let’s get back to the Vanity Fair cover. You never struck me as a bikini babe.
A. Boy, oh boy. That was the first time I ever wore a bikini in a photo shoot, and it was the only bikini I wore at that photo shoot, and they chose to make it the cover.
Q. You could have said no?
A. I never dreamed they would use that shot.
Q. Perhaps you’ve secretly cultivated a sexy screen image?
A. (laughs). That’s exactly right. It was a big secret, even to me. Anybody who knows me thinks it’s hysterical.
Q. Besides a lifelong dream of appearing on a national magazine cover in a bikini, didn’t you also recently fulfill a dream of hosting “Saturday Night Live?”
A. Oh my God. That was the best week of my life.
Q. Did it live up to the dream?
A. Oh, it exceeded the dream.
Q. In what way?
A. I never allowed myself to imagine that it would ever happen. I went in with no expectations, and it was amazing.
Q. When you put together the “Saturday Night Live” hosting gig, the Vanity Fair cover and “The Amazing Spider-Man” role, it seems like you’ve totally bought into the movie star life.
A. I hope not.
Q. You may have been redeemed by “The Help.” It is something else entirely, isn’t it?
A. It really is.
Q. How did it come about?
A. I got this call to meet with Tate Taylor, the director, and when I told my mother that I was up for a part in “The Help,” she literally went crazy. She was so excited because she had read the book. I hadn’t even read the script so I had no idea what a big deal it was. When I got the part, she cried, and she never cries when I get a role.
Q. She didn’t cry when you got “Zombieland?”
A. (laughs) Not even then.
Q. So tell me what happened when you first met with the director?
A. We had a few drinks, and bonded quickly. He was so great, and I believe that he was the only one who could make this movie.
Q. Were you surprised by what you learned about life in the south in 1963?
A. I knew about Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, and that’s about all I learned in school. It’s kind of amazing.
Q. You grew up in Arizona?
A. Yes. My knowledge was pretty limited about life in the South during that time. But Tate made us watch this incredible documentary “Eyes on the Prize.” It was so helpful in learning about that time period, and what was really going on. It was mind-boggling.
Q. What were your emotions when you found out what was going on?
A. It’s insane to me. But it’s insane to me because it’s not my generation. Hopefully, it will be insane to my children that gay people were not allowed to get married. It’s the same as my grandparents’ generation where women were not allowed to vote. It’s easy for me to say it’s insane because I didn’t live through it. But it seems to me that it should be a birthright that everyone should be equal.
Q. How important is it for this movie to come out now?
A. It’s been my experience that my generation doesn’t know as much as it should about that time period. It’s hugely important to know our history. We’re in the middle of a civil rights movement now so it’s important to understand where it started.
Q. Will your generation come to see this movie?
A. I sure as hell hope so. I can’t speak for my generation, but I would go to see a movie like this.
Q. Where did you film “The Help?”
A. In a small town in Mississippi.
Q. What was it like to be in Mississippi filming a movie that is critical of a certain period in Mississippi’s history?
A. It was very hospitable. There was plenty of Southern hospitality. They brought us zucchini bread, and we met their children. At the same, you could feel the history.
Q. Are you saying the hospitality was a façade?
A. Not a façade; just a different mentality.
Q. Were you ever fearful?
A. No. Not at all. And I don’t think we could have filmed it in any other place. It was important to film this movie in Mississippi.
Q. You didn’t film in the summer, did you?
A. Oh yes; with 100 percent humidity. And mosquitoes like you wouldn’t believe.
Q. I suppose that helps an actor get into the right frame of mind?
A. You’re literally in the experience. You couldn’t be closer to being in the moment.
Q. As a 22-year-old woman, could you identify at all with how 22-year-old women lived in Jackson in 1963?
A. It’s easy for me to say now that I would have been like Skeeter, and that I would never have joined the Junior League and felt the pressures to have a husband and babies by this age, but you never know until you live that life.
Q. Did you run into any locals who were resentful of you filming this story there?
A. I’m sure they existed, but I didn’t meet anyone like that. In fact, the mayor and a lot of the residents were extras in the movie, so we felt nothing but support.
From “Harry Potter” to “The Hunger Games,” Hollywood always faces a challenge when it comes to adapting bestselling books into two-hour feature films. And by a challenge, of course, we mean the frothing micro-scrutiny of a million rabid fans who have some very specific ideas about what you should and should not do when bringing their beloved literary characters to life on the big screen.
But if you’ve ever sat in the darkening theater, clutching your popcorn and praying to the gods of All Things Film-Related, “Please, Celluloid Gods, please let them NOT HAVE SCREWED THIS UP!”… well, guess what, Emma Stone knows just how you feel. Even when, as with “The Help,” she’s actually in the movie.
As an actress, she said, “When you read the book, you have a vision of those characters too. So not only are you saying, ‘How am I going to play that character… but who’s gonna play Celia?’ Because I love Celia, and if she’s played wrong, I’m going to be so mad.”
Oh yeah. This girl gets it. And, she added, “I definitely understand being protective of the characters and the material.”
Of course, getting to be a part of the movie-making process for one of your favorite books is a pretty sweet gig—which brings us to the next question: How do Emma and her “The Help” co-star Bryce Dallas Howard choose which films to act in?
Bryce cracked up, saying, “When someone casts me! Everyone thinks it’s a choice!”
But while we take a moment to be profoundly grateful that, unlike professional actors, we don’t have to re-apply for our careers of choice every six months, Emma offers some insight.
“It depends on the time in your life, kind of, too. There are characters I’ve played before that I can’t imagine being able to play now—I don’t know if I’d be able to get to that same place—and vice-versa.”
Fair enough. But listen, Emma? We’re just saying, we love “The Help.” And if it’s played wrong…well, you understand. YES YOU DO.
Emma Stone is down to answer the tough questions. Fortunately, we came with a few.
Our own Ashlan Gorse recently sat down with Stone and her The Help costar Viola Davis, and the two did not hold back. From romance to Spider-Man, the ladies shared all. But Emma revealed one thing we never would have dared ask…
As it turns out, the cast met quite the challenge while filming the flick down in Mississippi: comfort food. So how bad did things get?
“They took my costumes out twice,” Stone quietly revealed. But she wasn’t the only one. “Oh heck yeah! It was everyone.” And who’s to blame them, what with all that lemon pie, caramel cake, fried chicken and biscuits sitting around. But still, have to say the ladies of this stellar cast have never looked better.
And that topic was just the beginning. Check it out as we put Emma on the spot about who her girl crush is—Christina Hendricks or Catt Sadler—how it feels to be a part of something huge like Spider-Man and what she has to say about those Andrew Garfield dating rumors.
With roles in “The Help,” “Crazy, Stupid, Love” and “Friends With Benefits,” this has been the summer of Emma Stone. But the 22-year-old’s role as Skeeter Phelan in “The Help” marks a big departure from her previous onscreen personas.
Gone are the now-token red locks and girl-next-door vibe that have become so familiar. Instead, Stone is a blonde, curly-haired modern woman determined to tell the true story of what it’s like to be a black maid in 1960s Mississippi. On the surface, Skeeter might seem like a big change from the Stone audiences have come to know and love, but “The Amazing Spider-Man” actress said she has a lot more in common with her character than it might seem.
“When I was younger, I always wanted to be a writer or a journalist, and I don’t think I’d be much good at it, but it was really wonderful to kind of live out that dream through acting,” Stone said when MTV News caught up with her during Sneak Peek Week. “She’s curious about people and curious about her life and is questioning why things are the way they are, and I’ve definitely done that too, as I’m sure everyone has.”
Just because Stone felt a kinship with her character didn’t make her any easier to play, though. She had to adopt a Southern accent for the flick and also get in the mentality of what it’s like to be a Southern woman. Fortunately, Stone’s mother was raised in Louisiana so she was able to discuss with her what it was like to be a woman in the South in the 1960s.
Her co-star, Bryce Dallas Howard, had an easier time because she had previously played a Southern woman in “The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond.” But even in that flick, Howard had played a character from a different environment and background, so she had to figure out the right way to play Hilly Holbrook in “The Help.” She told us that filming the movie in Mississippi helped her get into the right mindset.
“I feel like, in the movie, you get a sense of true authenticity in terms of the period and obviously the setting because we shot the film in Greenwood, Mississippi,” Howard said. “I think it made all the difference in the world.”