“The Help” RoundTable: Get a Taste of Southern Hospitality With Octavia Spencer and Jessica Chastain

There is nothing like a little southern hospitality, and that is what got when The Help’s Jessica Chastain and Octavia Spencer sat at a roundtable. The two had such wonderful chemistry on screen and off which will be pretty prevalent if you listen to the entire interview. Both talked about what it was like to cook, share scenes together, and test for chemistry during their auditions. Hit the jump to listen to the interview.

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Right from the audition Chastain and Spencer became friends, but you would have already noticed that based on they chemistry had on screen. It was like they were sisters. Chastain talked about the processes she had to go through during the audition. Because she was shooting the Texas Killing Fields during that time, the actress really had to fight for the role. Spencer said that she was already familiar with some of the people behind the scenes, so it wasn’t too hard for her to get the role, but it wasn’t necessarily easy either. After the two had completed testing for chemistry, both Spencer and director Tate Taylor knew that Chastain was the right choice.

Spencer talked about how intimidating was share scenes with actresses like Viola Davis and Sissy Spacek. But she added that they were very disarming and gracious. However when Spencer talked about sharing scenes with Chastain, she said that she felt much more comfortable performing in front of the camera given that they tested so well. Likewise, Chastain talked about how she felt in her element whenever she and Spencer had scenes together. With their chemistry so electrifying, the two took their relationship beyond the camera, sharing things like daily life stories and even asking for recipes.

Spencer never experienced racism herself given the fact that she comes from a young family and that her family never talks about it. She jokingly said that if she had lived during the sixties, the south would of never really survived her. But she did learn about the civil rights movement from her mother and some of the experiences she may have had. She does admit she didn’t know enough about the 60s or Civil rights itself until she did the research for her character.

Both of them talked about their character growth in their arcs. While Minnie(Spencer) and Celia (Chastian) may come from different walks of life in the movie, both of them learned from each other and began to overcome their fears. Spencer believes that all the women were trailblazers and that if these women did not exist, this movie would not exist.

The Help opens August 10th in theaters.

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