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The Help has already been warmly welcomed into this season’s upcoming awards race, picking up nominations for the Critics Choice Awards and lead with the most nominations for the SAG Awards. On Thursday, the film was honored with five nominations for the Golden Globes, surpassed only by The Artist, which led with six.
The DreamWorks/Participant/Touchstone production about race relations in the ’60s South picked up drama nods for best picture, best actress (Viola Davis), best original song, and two for best supporting actress (Jessica Chastain and Octavia Spencer).
Tate Taylor, director of The Help spoke to The Hollywood Reporter on the morning of the nominations announcement. The filmmaker is currently in Martha’s Vineyard, where he’s working on the adapted script for his next directorial effort, Peace Like a River.
“I got up and watched the nominations live. I cheered out loud,” Taylor told THR. “I called Octavia, but she didn’t recognize the number, so was tentative. Once she realized it was me, she said, ‘oh my god!.’ I called Viola, but she was swept up in interviews. We’ve all been emailing back and forth.”
The Help is the first feature Taylor has directed, and was a labor of love (he’s childhood friends with The Help author Kathryn Stockett). “I’m so proud of all my girls. We were the little movie that could. Everybody poured their hearts and souls into this movie.”
Brunson Green, one of The Help producers told THR: “I’m just thrilled to be part of this crazy ride. The level of films we’re competing with is kind of overwhelming. They are just so ecclectic and different. It’s cool.”
Octavia Spencer, who played the spitfire maid Minny in the film, told THR that she woke up every hour until 5:00 a.m., which she thought was the time when the nominations were being announced. (She wasn’t going to watch, but wanted to be up for any phone calls.)
Trouble was, the nominations didn’t start until 5:20 a.m., so when no call came at 5 a.m., she was a little bit dejected.
“I’ve been really good not to invest emotionally in the awards talk but this week made it hard to do,” she said. “I began looking online for shoes I shouldn’t have been looking at.”
Of course, Spencer did get a phone call at 5:45 a.m., with the news of her best performance in a supporting role, sending her through the moon.
“I am on a cloud of chocolate and peanut butter and everything I love in the world,” Spencer said.
Her plans for the rest of the day, she added, will consist of cleaning her place (to help get her head back in an orderly fashion) and going to work out. “If I don’t, I’m going to need two pairs of Spanx for the show,” Spencer said.
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