Summer of 1983, Northern Italy. An American-Italian is enamored by an American student who comes to study and live with his family. Together they share an unforgettable summer full of music, food, and romance that will forever change them.
Extremely important to read and consider, especially as The Help was so highly regarded as a progressive landmark in Hollywood for African-American women - though not necessarily by them.
“I absolutely love the premise,” she said. “I love the fact that [Emma Stone’s character] said ‘I am going to write a story from the maids’ perspective of what it feels like to work with these white women’. Operative term meaning the maids’ perspective. I don’t feel like it was from our perspective, that’s the problem I had with it. I had it from the very beginning.”
While she criticised aspects of the film she felt to be historically inaccurate (including the maids rejecting money for their stories, despite the film depicting them struggling to find scraps for food), she mostly condemned the sanitising of pain in order to make the film more palatable to mainstream audiences.
“The anger, the vitriol, and the hatred that they would have towards these white women if they were asked, if they were put in a situation where they were isolated, would have been vocalised. You didn’t see none of that!”
Lionsgate and Saban went out and found five unknown actors with either little or no acting experience (in movies) because a) they want to start a franchise with them and more importantly b) because they wanted their movie to be diverse. And the actors were all amazing. So people can no longer use the excuse of Hollywood only casting white actors because they’re well-known and good actors or because it’s hard to find good non-white actors. It isn’t that hard and Power Rangers showed us that. Hollywood just prefers casting white people in main roles and in non-white roles.
[Have you ever had bad chemistry with a cast?] I haven’t yet, the only time I had that was when I’d done a play. It was my first professional job; it probably wasn’t the lack of chemistry, more fact that I was young and making some mistakes. Chemistry is very important though; if you have chemistry on film, it helps to sell the connection between you and the other character.
“When a writer or producer approaches the Pentagon and asks for access to military assets to help make their film, they have to submit their script to the entertainment liaison offices for vetting. Ultimately, the man with the final say is Phil Strub, the Department of Defense’s (DOD) chief Hollywood liaison.
If there are characters, action or dialogue that the DOD don’t approve of then the film-maker has to make changes to accommodate the military’s demands. If they refuse then the Pentagon packs up its toys and goes home. To obtain full cooperation the producers have to sign contracts — Production Assistance Agreements — which lock them into using a military-approved version of the script.”