Star-studded event for 'The Help' movie premiere in Madison

Published: Jul. 30, 2011 at 10:52 PM CDT|Updated: Feb. 19, 2013 at 1:53 AM CST
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MADISON, MS (Mississippi News Now) - The red carpet was rolled out Saturday at the Malco Grandview theater in Madison for the stars of "The Help," a movie based on the best-selling novel by Jackson native Kathryn Stockett.

"It had to be here in Mississippi," said Stockett. "There's no way they could have captured the heat, the oppression, the humidity, the mosquitos anywhere else."

"Honestly, it was because the character of Mississippi," said director Tate Taylor, also a Jackson native. "It was like, it's got to be here."

The movie was filmed in the hot summer and fall months in Greenwood and Jackson.

"The heat was a little rough. The mosquitos were a little tough. We were in Greenwood, so we were near the water and it was very mosquito-y. It was amazing. I can't imagine this movie filming anywhere else," said actress Emma Stone, who plays one of the film's leading ladies, Skeeter.

"The south is its own character, and to film in these huge beautiful southern homes it just made us feel more grounded in our characters," said Allison Janney, who plays Skeeter's mother, Charlotte.

Brent's Drugs and the Mayflower Cafe were two Jackson landmarks featured in the movie. WLBT was even represented both in the book and the film.

"I used to turn on the TV to WLBT as a kid and there it all was in front of you," said Stockett. "The channel really helped capture what was going on behind the story."

Although the story is fiction, it gives a very real portrayal of the lives of white and black women in Jackson in the 1960s.

"I felt like I was channeling the spirit of my mother and my grandmother and kind of walking in their shoes for a little space of time and understanding what they must have lived through," said Viola Davis, who plays a lead role as Aibileen.

"You could see it in the face of every actor. Every day literally that panic of getting it right.  I think when you see this movie you'll see we were successful at it," Davis said.

The movie will be released in theaters August 10.

Copyright 2011 WLBT. All rights reserved.