Author Kathryn Stockett Reveals The True Test Of Friendship Behind The Epic Novel

It is the movie of the year that is on the tip of everyone's tongue and on every moviegoer's must-see list. The Help is a fantastic story about a young writer who exposes the secrets of southern women and their domestic help, but it is author Kathryn Stockett that is the keeper of all the secrets. You won't believe the back story of friendship and support which helped this amazing novel be made into a movie!

Most people who write novels are not lucky enough to have them turned into a screenplay. Most people also aren't lucky enough to have one of their best friends write the screenplay and direct it into a major motion picture. The author of The Help, Kathryn Stockett, is not one of those people.

The Help Cast

Ms. Stockett and her childhood friend Tate Taylor would cheer each other on throughout their lives as each struggled to pursue their dream. They checked in with each other for assistance, they reviewed each other's work carefully. They held each other up when The Help was rejected by 60 different publishers and Taylor's Hollywood directing career didn't go exactly as planned. But the one thing they knew was when one made it in the business, the other would be right alongside them.

Stockett revealed in an interivew with The Wall Street Journal how their friendship was tested time and again in the making of this epic film.

"Tate would call me every couple of weeks with another draft or piece and I would look at it. I would not give my two cents. I really didn't want to interrupt that process. It was crucial for me to hand it over to Tate and let him write his story."

Star Emma Stone reveals, "No divas on set!">>

She continued, "I had so many people telling me, 'Look, you cannot option this to Tate. He doesn't have enough film experience.' Tate was asking me for the rights and I'm pushing him back because of all these voices. I said no and everything went silent betwen Tate and me for two weeks. Tate called me, and it was a last ditch effort. I told him who else was asking for the rights, other filmmakers who had a lot of punch behind their names. Tate said, 'Look, this is how many books this person has optioned and they're sitting on the shelves and don't get made into movies. It will either not get made or be really bad because they're not from Mississippi.' I realized, oh my gosh, Tate's got to make this movie."

Viola Davis, "The Help sheds light on racism!">>

The Help opens Wednesday and stars Emma Stone, Viola Davis, Bryce Dallas Howard, Allison Janney and Octavia Spencer. It tells the story of a young society woman who goes away to college and returns with the dream of becoming a writer. Her insider story of the life of the black women who tend to the most wealthy white families in town sets her small town in Mississipi on fire during the most tumultuous time for race differences, the 1960s.

Photo courtesy of Dreamworks II Distribution Co. LLC All Rights Reserved

Tags: kathryn stockett

Recommended for you


Comments on "The real story behind The Help"

Linda G January 02, 2013 | 1:43 AM

What a beautiful testament to the history of the South and the way that blacks were enslaved once again. It poignantly captures the ignorance of women (who still exist by the way) who are entitleists. My father grew up in New Orleans, an observant Jew. And he told me stories I wouldnt have believed it not for stories that are passed down through generations.

Kit September 30, 2012 | 7:27 PM

I'm black and I enjoyed this movie. What is up with people saying white people need to apologize and make amends? How exactly do people who say that want white people to make amends? Really??? I hate it when I hear stupid crap like that.

Andrea June 16, 2012 | 4:32 PM

Yes slavery happened. Yes it is a horrible injustice. But it happened long ago. Just as slavery of the Jews happened. It is in the past. Everyone is so hooked on paying pentence for what happens decades ago. It is time to forgive. Forgive the "whites" for being selfish, greedy idiots. Also time to forgive for holding on to a frighting thing that you have never personally endured. I am all for equality. Well, for the most part. I do believe that rapist and child molesters have no business breathing. But anyone that has a good heart and can stand up and say what's right, should be congradulated no matter their skin, religon, or personal beliefs. There will always be some form of hate. The least we as a the human race can do is centralize our emotions to personal experience. I heard a woman once say, "I was raped by a black man so that should tell you what kind of people they are." My reply, "If he was white would you still stick to that theory?" Move on people. This is a new age. Racist whites are brought up thinking this is the right thing. Only a few would stand up because they know rasism is wrong. In the same breathe there are only a few that would stand by their beliefs of saying it is right. The rest are just ignorant masses only looking for exceptance.

me January 18, 2012 | 5:33 PM

Nothing was whitewashed! It's a movie not a documentary! Racism exists because of ignorance and it occurs among all races and its ignorant to think otherwise. I am neither black nor white and have experienced it from both!

Victoria December 28, 2011 | 11:29 PM

Hello, ok first of all I love this movie. It made me understand what really happened between the blacks and whites. Whites were rude back then and they were just immature i guess. And blacks were as nice as they could be. Even though they really didnt have anything and had to go to different churches and schools. But what I really dont understand is why? Why were we so mean to them. We were all made from God and he put us on this earth to live with him. Some people dont understand, like me. Yeah were two different colors so whats the difference we all came to earth. This really shows me something. So you should make more movies like this one. O and CARL some people dont understand what the blacks faced from the time they set foot on earth. Maybe you dont understand.

llulubelle December 14, 2011 | 6:35 AM

@SAMRA: Yes racism is sad, but you can't blame every white person for what their grandparents did. My grandmother was a horrible racist person, but no one in my family is. Should we all atone for her sins? She's a crazy bat. Are you going to atone for every bad thing your relatives have ever done? No.

Bjorn November 09, 2011 | 3:22 PM

Hey Samra, grow up. There's nothing wrong with this White person. I have not connection at all with any slave owners and neither do you have any connection to actual slaves. Just because I was born white doesn't mean I have any moral or legal responsibility for the practice of slavery in America. Bad things happened during slavery, for sure. And racism and bigotry continue today...but they are NOT connected. Racism and bigotry are learned behaviors and have no place in society...that's what we need to overcome, not the horrors of slavery. And, stop whining about the movie until you actually go see it.

SAMRA October 26, 2011 | 11:56 AM

It's so sad n the movie, the book was white washed. It was a lot worse in those days. I'm ashamed of what our great great grandpa did. The rape of young black girls, the slavery n selling the husband to the highest bid. All my life I have gave to the less fortunate, the poor n needy. All my white friends say ur crazy giving away hard earned money. Ppl will never realize the horrors n heart break they had to endure n still work in the hot ass fields. Hungry, raped, PREGANT they still had to work or be killed Until this country admit to the devastation done to black ppl, we will continue to go down. The same things are still be done, damn what the hell is wrong with white ppl, any n ever race is better than a black person. My father died in 1978, n his words still stand. They just wanna feed their families, just like we do. Do u know what that does to a man, when he can't take care of his family. Didn't see the movie, it was white washed to make it nice.

huey September 19, 2011 | 3:53 PM

We need to face the dirty past, it is shameful. I have been ashamed of my white skin for many years, what my ancestors did to American Indians,Blacks and even to females ,gives me a sickness in my gut. We can learn form these movies and books and through learning we change the way we behave. Change begins with an individual.

Akmccoy September 14, 2011 | 12:16 PM

Though i was not all that moved by the movie as a Black woman it was nice to at least see a black character win, or fight back or stand up for themselves. The problem is that the scab that was picked is on the arm of white Americans. Because there is never any real apology, or restitution made for the crimes of not so long ago the issue will never be laid to rest until White americans acknowledge the horrors. And make amends. But because of the nature of racism and self preservation this will not happen. the crime is to great a evil to face. There are families that still benefit from these sins today. Corporations as well so as you see this will always hang around the neck of America. Its not a BLACK problem, Its a White one. Why do you think 60 publishers turned her down LOL. Lets stop complaining about having to face the dirty past and accept reality. these issues are alive and well and thats why this issue is going no where.

Carl September 03, 2011 | 8:31 PM

We all understand the problems blacks faced from the time they set foot on the soil of the country until the present. If we continue to pick this scab we will never get over it, learn to love one another and live as brothers and sisters as I wish we would. This book and movie only adds to the strife between races.

+ Add Comment

(required - not published)