The #1 New York Times best seller by Kathryn Stockett comes to vivid life through the powerful performances of a phenomenal ensemble cast. Led by Emma Stone, Academy Award®-nominated Viola Davis (Best Supporting Actress, Doubt, 2008), Octavia Spencer and Bryce Dallas Howard, The Help is an inspirational, courageous and empowering story about very different, extraordinary women in the 1960s South who build an unlikely friendship around a secret writing project — one that breaks society’s rules and puts them all at risk. Filled with poignancy, humor and hope — and complete with compelling, never-before-seen bonus features — The Help is a timeless, universal and triumphant story about the ability to create change.
Exclusive To Blu-ray Disc™
• More Deleted Scenes
• Making Of The Help: From Friendship To Film
• In Their Own Words: A Tribute To The Maids Of Mississippi
• Deleted Scenes
• Mary J. Blige "The Living Proof" Music Video
Bonus Material Not Rated
• Deleted Scenes
• Mary J. Blige "The Living Proof" Music Video
Bonus Material Not Rated
EMMA STONE (Skeeter) recently wrapped production on the comedy, Crazy, Stupid, Love in which she stars opposite Steve Carell and Ryan Gosling. In addition, she is currently lending her voice to the DreamWorks Animation SKG® comedy The Croods. She was recently seen in the comedy Easy A, and the independent drama Paperman, opposite Jeff Daniels and Ryan Reynolds.
Stone’s other film credits include the animated comedy, Marmaduke (for which she provided the voice for Mazie), Zombieland, Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, The House Bunny, The Rocker and Superbad.
On television, Stone’s credits include Drive and the VH1 series, In Search of the Partridge Family. She also guest-starred on series such as Malcolm in the Middle, Medium, Lucky Louie and The Suite Life of Zach and Cody.
A native of Arizona, Stone currently resides in New York.
VIOLA DAVIS (Aibileen) received a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award® nomination and a Golden Globe® Award nomination for her role as Mrs. Miller in Doubt. Among her other feature film credits are, Eat Pray Love, Knight & Day, State of Play, Madea Goes to Jail, Nights in Rodanthe, Disturbia, Syriana, Get Rich or Die Tryin’, Solaris, Antwone Fisher, Far From Heaven, Kate & Leopold, Traffic, and The Substance of Fire, among others.
On Broadway, Davis won Tony® Awards for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play for her role in King Hedley II (for which she also won the Drama Desk Award) and Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play for Fences. Off-Broadway, in The Roundabout Theatre Company’s production of Intimate Apparel, she won Best Actress awards from the Drama Desk, the Drama League, and received the Obie Award and the Audelco Award. She was nominated for the Lucille Lortel Award as well. Davis reprised her role at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles where she won the Ovation Award, The Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award, and the Garland Award.
On television, Davis was seen this year in a six-episode arc in Showtime’s hit series United States of Tara. She also starred in the A&E miniseries The Andromeda Strain, and enjoyed recurring roles on Law & Order: SVU and in the CBS miniseries franchise Jesse Stone. Additionally, her television credits include Life Is Not a Fairytale: The Fantasia Barrino Story, Traveler, Century City, Lefty, and City of Angels. She also had roles in Oprah Winfrey’s Amy and Isabelle, and Hallmark Hall of Fame’s Grace and Glorie.
Davis is a graduate of The Juilliard School and holds an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts Degree from her alma mater, Rhode Island College. She resides in Los Angeles with her husband, actor Julius Tennon.
OCTAVIA SPENCER (Minny) was born in Montgomery, Alabama, and graduated from Auburn University with a bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts.
Spencer made her feature film debut in Joel Schumacher’s A Time to Kill. Her other film credits include Never Been Kissed, Big Momma's House, Bad Santa, Spider Man, Coach Carter, Win a Date with Tad Hamilton! Pretty Ugly People, Seven Pounds, Halloween II, Love at First Hiccup, and Herpes Boy.
On television, Spencer has made a number of critically acclaimed guest appearances on shows such as Raising the Bar, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, The Big Bang Theory, Wizards of Waverly Place, NYPD Blue, Grounded for Life, ER, Titus and Dharma & Greg. However, she is perhaps best known for her starring roles as Serenity Johnson on Comedy Central’s Halfway Home, and as Constance Grady, the amorous INS caseworker on Ugly Betty.
Spencer made her stage debut in Los Angeles, in Del Shore’s award-winning play, The Trials and Tribulations of a Trailer Trash Housewife. She also starred in Tate Taylor’s critically lauded and award-winning short feature, Chicken Party.
Her own short film The Captain, which she wrote, directed and produced, was honored by the CICFF as a finalist for the coveted REEL Poetry Award. She is the voice of Aibileen on the audio book version of The Help.
BRYCE DALLAS HOWARD (Hilly) is one of Hollywood’s most versatile and dynamic talents both on screen and behind the camera. Her feature-film acting credits include The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, Hereafter, The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond, Terminator Salvation, Spider Man 3, Lady in the Water, The Village, and Manderlay. She recently completed a starring role in Jonathan Levine’s comedy 50/50, opposite Seth Rogen and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
Howard also received a 2008 Golden Globe® Award nomination for her performance as Rosalind in HBO’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s As You Like It, written and directed by Kenneth Branagh.
Expanding her creative reach beyond acting, Howard produced Gus Van Sant’s soon to be released Restless. She made her directorial debut with the short film Orchids and currently has a feature in development as a screenwriter.
After leaving the Tisch School of the Arts program at New York University, Howard immediately began working on the New York stage, including playing the role of Marianne in the Roundabout’s Broadway production of Tartuffe, Rosalind in the Public Theatre’s As You Like It, Sally Platt in the Manhattan Theater Club’s production of Alan Ayckbourn’s House/Garden, and Emily in the Bay Street Theater Festival’s production of Our Town.
Howard currently resides in Los Angeles with her husband, Seth Gabel, and their son, Theo.
JESSICA CHASTAIN (Celia) was born and raised in Northern California. She attended the Juilliard School where she starred in Romeo and Juliet. She went on to receive glowing reviews for her performances in The Cherry Orchard at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, opposite Michelle Williams, and in Richard Nelson’s drama Rodney’s Wife, opposite David Strathairn, at Playwrights Horizons. Chastain also starred as Desdemona in Othello, opposite Philip Seymour Hoffman, which was directed by Peter Sellars and staged at The Public Theater in New York City.
In feature films, Chastain starred in The Debt, with Helen Mirren and Sam Worthington and in the soon to be released The Fields, and Tree of Life, written and directed by Terrence Malick and starring Brad Pitt and Sean Penn.
At the senior-class Juilliard showcase, Chastain landed a coveted talent deal with Emmy® Award–winning executive producer and writer John Wells, the show runner of E.R., The West Wing, and producer of White Oleander. After completing a pilot for Wells and director P.J. Hogan, Chastain returned to the stage in the Los Angeles Wadsworth Theatre production of Salome, where Academy Award® winners Estelle Parsons (director) and Al Pacino cast Chastain to play the title role of Salome opposite Pacino. Continuing the collaboration, she starred in the film version titled Salomaybe, directed by Al Pacino.
Chastain’s work in Salome received enormous critical attention and led to her being cast in the dynamic title role in Jolene, directed by Dan Ireland, and also starring Rupert Friend, Frances Fisher, Dermot Mulroney and Michael Vartan. Chastain won the Best Actress Award at the 2008 Seattle Film Festival for this role.
Jessica Chastain currently lives in California.
SISSY SPACEK (Missus Walters) has been one of the industry’s most respected actresses for more than three decades. Her many honors include an Academy Award®, five additional Oscar® nominations, three Golden Globe® Awards and numerous critics’ awards.
Spacek first gained prominence for her performance in Terrence Malick’s 1973 drama Badlands,Carrie. The following year, she won the New York Film Critics Circle Award for her work in Robert Altman’s Three Women.
In 1980, Spacek starred as Loretta Lynn in the acclaimed biopic Coal Miner’s Daughter, winning the Oscar and Golden Globe Award for her performance. Spacek also received the New York Film Critics Circle, Los Angeles Film Critics, National Board of Review and National Society of Film Critics Awards for her portrayal of the country music legend.
Spacek received another Golden Globe nomination the next year for her work in Raggedy Man, directed by her husband, Jack Fisk. She earned her third Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for her role in Costa-Gavras’ 1982 drama Missing, opposite Jack Lemmon, and her fourth Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for her work in 1984’s The River, in which she starred with Mel Gibson.
In 1987, Spacek received her fifth Academy Award nomination and won another Golden Globe and the New York Film Critics Circle Award for her performance in the dark comedy Crimes of the Heart. Her most recent Oscar nomination came for her portrayal of a mother grieving for her murdered son in the drama In the Bedroom, for which she also won a Golden Globe Award, an Independent Spirit Award and an AFI Film Award for Best Actress. In addition, she garnered Best Actress Awards from a number of critics’ organizations, including the Los Angeles, New York and Broadcast Film Critics. Her work in In the Bedroom also brought Spacek two Screen Actors Guild Awards nominations, one for Outstanding Lead Actress and another for Outstanding Cast, shared with the rest of the film’s ensemble.
Spacek’s other film credits include A Home at the End of the World, The Straight Story, Blast From the Past, Affliction, The Grass Harp, JFK, The Long Walk Home, ’night, Mother, Marie, North Country, Nine Lives, Hot Rod, Lake City, Four Christmases, and Get Low.
Spacek has also been honored for her work on television, where she has starred in several highly praised long-form projects. She received Emmy® Award nominations for her portrayal of Zelda Fitzgerald in Last Call and for her work in Tommy Lee Jones’ western The Good Old Boys, as well as Screen Actors Guild Award® nominations for her performances in Midwives and A Place for Annie. Her additional television credits include If These Walls Could Talk, Beyond the Call, Streets of Laredo, A Private Matter, a Golden Globe–nominated performance for Pictures of Hollis Woods and, most recently, an Emmy-nominated performance for her guest role on HBO’s Big Love.
ALLISON JANNEY (Charlotte) has starred in numerous feature films, including Life During Wartime, A Thousand Words, Away We Go, Juno, and Hairspray. She also appeared in the comedy Strangers with Candy, was heard as the voice of Gladys in DreamWorks’ animated comedy Over the Hedge and received an Independent Spirit Award nomination for her work in Our Very Own. Janney also starred opposite Meryl Streep in The Hours, which received a Screen Actors Guild Awards® nomination for Outstanding Ensemble Cast in a Motion Picture. Other feature credits include American Beauty (for which she won a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Ensemble Cast in a Motion Picture) and the Disney/Pixar animated feature Finding Nemo (as the voice of Peach), as well as Nurse Betty, How to Deal, Drop Dead Gorgeous, 10 Things I Hate About You, Primary Colors,The Ice Storm, Six Days Seven Nights, The Object of My Affection and Big Night. She will soon be seen starring in The Oranges, Margaret and Lucky Them.
On television, Janney starred as C.J. Gregg on The West Wing, for which she won four Emmy® Awards, as well as four Screen Actors Guild Awards. She currently stars on the ABC comedy Mr. Sunshine, with Matthew Perry.
While a freshman studying acting at Kenyon College in Ohio, Janney was cast in a show directed by Paul Newman. Soon after, Newman and his wife Joanne Woodward suggested she study at the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York. She followed their advice and went on to make her Broadway debut in Noel Coward’s Present Laughter, for which she earned the Outer Critics Circle Award and Clarence Derwent Award. For her Broadway performance in Arthur Miller’s A View From the Bridge, she was nominated for a Tony® Award and won the Outer Critics Circle Award and the Drama Desk Award for Best Supporting Actress. In addition, she has starred in the New York City Public Theater’s production of The Taming of the Shrew, which was part of the Shakespeare in the Park series, and in the Williamstown Theatre Festival’s production of Lillian Hellman’s The Autumn Garden.
Janney was recently seen on Broadway as Violet Newstead in the musical 9 to 5, for which she received a Tony Award nomination and Drama Desk Award.
CICELY TYSON (Constance Jefferson) is one of America’s most revered and celebrated actors. She became a legend early in her career with critically acclaimed performances in such feature films as A Man Called Adam, The Comedians and The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter. Tyson forever secured her status as one of the screen’s most admired talents when she was nominated for the Academy Award® for her outstanding performance as Rebecca Morgan in director Martin Ritt’s drama, Sounder.
During a long and auspicious career, Tyson’s most prominent motion picture credits include The River Niger, A Hero Ain’t Nothin’ But a Sandwich, The Concord, ’79, Bustin’ Loose, Fried Green Tomatoes, Because of Winn-Dixie, Diary of a Mad Black Woman, Rwanda Rising, and most recently, Why Did I Get Married Too?
Among Tyson’s most distinguished television credits are The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman (for which she won Emmy® Awards as Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie, and Actress of the Year), Roots (Emmy Award nomination) and King (Emmy nomination for portraying Coretta Scott King). Tyson was again honored with the Emmy for her role as Castralia in the made-for-television adaptation of the acclaimed bestselling novel Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All. A few of her other outstanding performances were seen in A Woman Called Moses, The Women of Brewster Place, House of Secrets, A Lesson Before Dying and The Rosa Parks Story. She has also appeared in innumerable episodics.
MARY STEENBURGEN (Elaine Stein) won the Academy Award® for her role in Melvin and Howard. Most recently she starred in Did You Hear About the Morgan’s?, with Hugh Grant and Sarah Jessica Parker, and The Proposal with Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds.
Among Steenburgen’s many other feature film credits are Four Christmases, Stepbrothers, The Brave One, Nobel Son, Hotchkiss’ Ballroom Dancing and Charm School, Elf, Sunshine State, The Brave One, Nobel Son, Hotchkiss’ Ballroom Dancing and Charm School, Elf, Sunshine State, Life as a House, Philadelphia, Parenthood, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, The Grass Harp, Back to the Future Part III, Time After Time, A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy, Cross Creek, One Magic Christmas, Dead of Winter and End of the Line, for which she also served as the film’s executive producer.
For two seasons on television, Steenburgen starred in the Emmy® Award–nominated CBS series Joan of Arcadia. She also starred in the television film Southern Discomfort and in numerous episodes of Curb Your Enthusiasm. Steenburgen also starred with her husband, Ted Danson, in the television film It Must Be Love and in the television miniseries’ Talking to Heaven and Gulliver’s Travels.
Steenburgen starred with Jon Voight and F. Murray Abraham in Robert Halmi’s Noah’s Ark for NBC and was also nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award for her role in About Sarah.
On stage, Steenburgen starred in the David Mamet–directed play Boston Marriage at The Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles. Her other theater credits include The Beginning of August, Holiday and Candida at New York’s Roundabout Theater, and Marvin’s Room at the Tiffany Theater in Los Angeles.
In addition to her professional work, Steenburgen has devoted a great deal of time to causes close to her heart. In 1989 she and fellow actress, Alfre Woodard founded Artists for a Free South Africa. In 1996 she and Ted Danson were presented with Liberty Hill Foundation’s prestigious Upton Sinclair Award for their work in human rights and environmental causes.
Steenburgen is a native of Little Rock, Arkansas, the daughter of a railroad conductor and a public high school secretary. She began her career at the age of nineteen in New York. She currently lives in Los Angeles, California with her husband. They are the parents of four children, Kate, Lilly, Charlie and Kat.
TATE TAYLOR (Director/Executive Producer/Screenwriter) was born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi. After graduating from the University of Mississippi, Taylor made his short film debut writing, directing and starring in the critically acclaimed Chicken Party, which went on to win eight festivals and placed at twelve.
Pretty Ugly People was Taylor’s first feature-length film, which was released theatrically in the autumn of 2009. Written and directed by Taylor, this dark comedy was shot on location in Montana’s Glacier National Park, Chicago and Los Angeles.
Taylor is professionally partnered with producer Brunson Green and they have numerous film and television projects in development.
Taylor is attached to direct the drama Road Signs, a project he co-created with writing partner Steven Rogers (Stepmom, P.S. I Love You).
In addition to Taylor’s writing/directing career, he is an actor and was most recently seen in the 2010 Sundance Grand Jury Prize–winning feature Winter’s Bone.
JEFF SKOLL (Executive Producer) is a philanthropist and social entrepreneur. As founder and chairman of the Skoll Foundation, Participant Media and the Skoll Global Threats Fund, he is bringing life to his vision of a sustainable world of peace and prosperity.
As the first full-time employee and first President of eBay, Skoll developed the company’s inaugural business plan and led its successful initial public offering. eBay has since become the world’s largest on-line marketplace, connecting hundreds of millions of buyers and sellers.
After pioneering the creation of the eBay Foundation through the allocation of pre-IPO shares, Skoll then founded the Skoll Foundation in 1999. It quickly became the world’s largest foundation for social entrepreneurship, driving large-scale change by investing in, connecting, and celebrating social entrepreneurs and other innovators dedicated to solving the world’s most pressing problems. Its flagship program, the Skoll Awards for Social Entrepreneurship, currently supports 85 leading social entrepreneurs whose extraordinary work serves the neediest populations in over 100 countries.
The Skoll Foundation also co-produces the annual Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship with the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship at the Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford. The Skoll World Forum unites acclaimed social entrepreneurs with essential partners from the social, finance, private and public sectors. Each year, the Skoll World Forum attracts 800 distinguished delegates, including such renowned world figures as Archbishop Desmond Tutu, U.S. President Jimmy Carter, the Honorable Mary Robinson, Dr. Paul Farmer, and Nobel Laureates Al Gore, Muhammad Yunus, Jody Williams and Dr. R.K. Pachauri.
In 2009, Skoll founded the Skoll Global Threats Fund. Its initial focus is on five global issues that, if unchecked, could bring the world to its knees: climate change, water scarcity, pandemics, nuclear proliferation and Middle East conflict.
Skoll founded Participant Media in 2004 with the belief that a story well told has the power to inspire and compel social change. Participant’s films are accompanied by social action and advocacy campaigns to engage people on the issues addressed in the films. Skoll has served as Executive Producer on over 25 films to date, which have collectively received a total of 4 Academy Awards® and 18 nominations. Participant’s films include, among others, Good Night, and Good Luck, North Country, Syriana, An Inconvenient Truth, The Kite Runner, The Visitor, The Informant!, The Soloist, The Cove, Countdown to Zero, Waiting for ‘Superman’ and Food, Inc. In 2008, Participant launched TakePart.com, an on-line Social Action Network™ that enables people to learn, inspire, connect and get involved in major issues that shape our lives.
Skoll received a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Toronto and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He has been awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Toronto and an honorary Doctor of Public Service from Santa Clara University. Skoll’s other recent honors include Barron’s 25 Best Givers (2010, 2009), Huffington Post’s Ultimate Game Changer in Entertainment, among the world’s top 100 game changers (2010), Environmental Media Awards Corporate Responsibility Award (2010), the Producers Guild of America’s Visionary Award (2009), Global Green USA’s Entertainment Industry Environmental Leadership Award (2009), Business Week’s 50 Most Generous Philanthropists (2003-2007), Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People (2006), and Wired magazine’s Rave Award (2006).
MARK RADCLIFFE (Executive Producer) continues his long association with director Chris Columbus, which dates back to 1988 when he served as assistant director on Columbus’ second directorial effort, Heartbreak Hotel.
Since the birth of their partnership, Radcliffe has served as producer or executive producer of the Columbus-helmed pictures Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (executive producer on both), and Mrs. Doubtfire, Stepmom, Rent, Bicentennial Man, Nine Months and I Love You, Beth Cooper (all as producer). He also produced the third installment in the Potter franchise, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, directed by Alfonso Cuaron (for which he shared a BAFTA Award as Best Children’s Film and a second nomination as Best British Film).
Working together in their 1492 Pictures production entity, Radcliffe also produced Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, Fantastic Four, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, Christmas with the Kranks, Jingle All the Way, Night at the Museum and the hit sequel, Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian. His producing duties began on three early Columbus triumphs—Home Alone’ (on which he also was assistant director and associate producer), Only the Lonely (as co-producer and assistant director), and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (executive producer).
A native of Tulsa, Oklahoma, Radcliffe began his film career as assistant director on the Francis Ford Coppola production The Escape Artist, re-teaming with Coppola on Rumble Fish and Peggy Sue Got Married. Other assistant director credits include John Hughes’ She's Having a Baby and Planes, Trains and Automobiles, Jerry Zucker’s Oscar®-nominated 1990 hit, Ghost, Donald Petrie’s Mystic Pizza and Paul Schrader’s Light of Day. He also served as production manager on the 1979 film Rock ‘n’ Roll High School.
JOHN NORRIS (Executive Producer) is vice president of Wyolah Films, where he is a producing partner with Tate Taylor and oversees development and production of Wyolah Film’s upcoming projects.
Prior to joining Wyolah Films, Norris was CEO and partner at Artists & Directors Cooperative for five years. His responsibilities included supervision of both development and production of all A&DC Projects. Norris served as executive producer on Sony’s Angel of Death and facilitated such productions as IFC’s I Sell the Dead, Magnolia’s The House of the Devil, and the upcoming The Innkeepers.
Before creating Artists & Directors Cooperative, Norris spent six years as the COO and Head of Business Affairs at The Aaron Sims Company, where he oversaw visual-effects production on numerous blockbusters including Insidious, Clash of the Titans, The Day the Earth Stood Still, I Am Legend and the upcoming Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Norris also briefly served as head of business development for Stan Winston Studios.
L. DEAN JONES JR. (Executive Producer) has enjoyed a long and auspicious career in the motion picture and television industries serving in various creative capacities. Among his most prominent feature film credits as production manager are Body of Lies, Rent, The Matrix Revolutions, The Matrix Reloaded, The Green Mile, L.A. Confidential, Flubber (visual effects unit), James and the Giant Peach, and The Stars Fell on Henrietta.
As an assistant director, Jones contributed his talents to such features as Bicentennial Man, The Thin Red Line, The Hi-Lo Country, Sphere, Angels in the Outfield, A Perfect World, Wind, Made in America, Chains of Gold, Bird, The Dead Pool, Tucker: The Man and His Dream, Heartbreak Ridge, Pale Rider, City Heat, Tightrope and The Right Stuff, among many others.
For television, Jones served as co-producer or production manager on such pilots and series as Trauma, Privileged, Journeyman, The Evidence and Partners.
BRUNSON GREEN (Producer) is a native of Jackson, Mississippi. He received his BA in Economics from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, before starting his film career in Austin. Over the years, Green has held every possible position on a film set in his effort to become a producer who has come through the ranks.
Green formed Harbinger Pictures in April of 1996 to pursue the production of independent film projects. In the autumn of 1997, he co-produced the feature film, Fool’s Gold, which was accepted into the Sundance Film Festival. He also produced several short films including Lorraine Bracco’s directorial debut Auto Motives.
Green also produced The Journeyman, a western starring Barry Corbin and Willie Nelson. He then joined forces with writer/director/actor Tate Taylor and following their multi-award-winning short film Chicken Party, they completed their feature Pretty Ugly People, which screened in over 36 festivals and garnered awards from many of them.
CHRIS COLUMBUS (Producer) was born in Spangler, Pennsylvania, and grew up outside of Youngstown, Ohio. As a student he aspired to become a commercial artist. He spent several years studying art and oil painting, eventually becoming interested in drawing. In high school, he began making his own 8mm films and drawing his own storyboards (which he continues to do). After high school, he enrolled in the directors program at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.
Columbus initially attained success as a screenwriter. While still in college, he sold his first script Jocks, a semi-autobiographical comedy. After graduating from NYU, Columbus wrote Reckless, based on his experiences as a factory worker in Ohio. The film was directed by James Foley, and starred Aidan Quinn and Daryl Hannah.
Columbus achieved prominence in Hollywood writing original scripts produced by Steven Spielberg: the back-to-back hits of the Joe Dante–directed Gremlins, and The Goonies, helmed by Richard Donner. He next wrote the fantasy adventure Young Sherlock Holmes, which was directed by Barry Levinson. These screenwriting achievements led Columbus to directing his first feature, Adventures in Babysitting, starring Elisabeth Shue. A meeting with John Hughes brought Columbus to the helm of Home Alone and its equally successful sequel, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York.
Only the Lonely, a bittersweet comedy-drama directed by Columbus from his own screenplay, was praised for featuring one of the late John Candy’s best performances, and for the return of legendary star Maureen O’Hara to the screen. Columbus’ smash hit comedy Mrs. Doubtfire, starring Robin Williams and Sally Field, was followed by another comedy Nine Months, with Hugh Grant and Julianne Moore. He then turned to drama with Stepmom, starring Julia Roberts and Susan Sarandon.
Columbus then directed Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, both of which were box office blockbusters. He served as producer on Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. He directed the film version of the Tony® Award–winning Broadway musical, Rent, and produced Night at the Museum and its sequel Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian, starring Ben Stiller and Robin Williams.
Columbus also directed the hit film Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief, which is based on the best-selling children’s book series.
JENNIFER BLUM (Executive Producer) is a New York City native whose family hails from Tennessee. After graduating from Wellesley College, she worked as an account executive at Ogilvy & Mather for several years. She then left for the Sundance Institute in Utah where she worked on everything from fundraising for the Institute and Film Festival to helping launch the Sundance Catalog.
Her movie career started after moving to Los Angeles and briefly covering books for CAA. She was then hired as a development executive for manager/producer Larry Brezner where she worked on Angie and The Vanishing. Blum began working for 1492 Pictures in 1994, the year the production company opened its doors. In addition to being a co-producer on Jingle All the Way and executive producer on I Love You, Beth Cooper, she has been involved in the development and production of all 1492 projects from the Harry Potter and Night at the Museum franchises to Percy Jackson.
NATE BERKUS’ (Executive Producer) professional creative career began when he joined Leslie Hindman Auctioneers. There, he developed his keen eye for decorative arts and furniture. He subsequently established his own design firm, Nate Berkus Associates and went on to achieve international recognition through appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show.
Berkus has gone on to host his own popular design program on television, aptly titled, The Nate Berkus Show. He is the author of the New York Times best-selling book Home Rules: Transform the Place You Live into a Place You’ll Love. His second book will be published in 2012.
MICHAEL BARNATHAN (Producer) is president of 1492 Pictures, at which he is a producing partner with Chris Columbus and Mark Radcliffe. The company was formed in May 1994.
Barnathan has served as producer on such Columbus-directed projects as Nine Months, Rent, Stepmom, I Love You, Beth Cooper and most recently Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief. For 1492, he also produced Jingle All the Way, Cheaper by the Dozen, Christmas with the Kranks, Night at the Museum and the sequel, Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian.
He served as executive producer on the first three installments of the Harry Potter franchise, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (both directed by Columbus) and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (which earned a BAFTA Award as Best Children’s Film and a second nomination as Best British Film), as well as Fantastic Four and the sequel Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.
Prior to joining 1492 Pictures, Barnathan was senior vice president of Production at Largo Entertainment for four years. His responsibilities included supervision of both development and production of Largo’s feature slate. The N.Y.U. grad (where he first met aspiring filmmaker Columbus his freshman year) served as executive producer on Used People and supervised such productions as Point Break, Dr. Giggles, Judgment Night and The Getaway.
Before joining Largo, Barnathan spent seven years working for Edgar J. Scherick Associates. During his last two years with Scherick, he served as executive vice president of production, producing and executive-producing numerous cable movies, telefilms and miniseries, including The Kennedys of Massachusetts, which received eight Emmy® Award nominations and three Golden Globe® nominations, including Best Miniseries for each.
MOHAMED MUBARAK AL MAZROUEI (Executive Producer) previously served as executive producer on The Way Back, Fair Game, Furry Vengeance, and Shorts. In addition, Al Mazrouei is the executive producer of the forthcoming crime drama The Double, starring Topher Grace, Odette Annable, Richard Gere and Martin Sheen, as well as the action adventure Echelon, starring Jason Statham.
Al Mazrouei has dedicated much of his life to public service with a particular focus on education. In addition to many philanthropic endeavors Al Mazrouei is director general of the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture & Heritage, as well as chairman of World Trade Centre ––Abu Dhabi. He also serves as the chairman of the board of Abu Dhabi Media Company PJSC, and vice chairman of the board of Al Tail Technical Services, director at Amiri Flight: Tourism Development & Investment Co. and Al Jazeera Club.
Al Mazrouei is a graduate of the United Arab Emirates University and the University of Portland.
KATHRYN STOCKETT (Author) was born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi. After graduating from the University of Alabama with a degree in English and creative writing, she moved to New York City, where she lived and worked for 16 years. She currently lives in Atlanta.
The Help, Stockett’s first novel, was on the New York Times bestseller list for 103 weeks, six of those weeks were at number one.
A bright, enthusiastic recent college graduate and aspiring writer, Skeeter bucks the trend for southern women of the time by being more interested in her career than marriage.
Eugenia “Skeeter” Phelan just graduated from Ole Miss and is intent on getting a job as a writer. Unlike the girls she grew up with in Jackson, Miss., Skeeter wants a career and is quite content to put marriage and children on hold—much to her married friends’, and her family’s, constant consternation. When she lands a job writing a cleaning-hints column for the local newspaper and seeks help from Aibileen, her best friend’s maid, Skeeter finds herself embarking on a secret writing project, spurred on by a book editor in New York and inspired by the moving stories she uncovers.
A third-generation housemaid, who at 53 years old has raised 17 children in her care, Aibileen discovers her voice and the courage to defy the conventions of the early 1960s.
Aibileen Clark has been a maid all her life, working in the white homes of Jackson, Miss. She has raised 17 children for her employers and one son of her own, who was tragically, and unnecessarily, killed in an accident. Depressed since the loss of her only child, Aibileen draws strength from both her faith and her best friend Minny. With quiet courage and dignity, Aibileen fulfills her duties as the Leefolt family’s maid, caring for their little girl, Mae Mobley. When she reluctantly collaborates with Skeeter, Aibileen finds herself opening up and telling her stories for the first time in her life—even though the seemingly simple act brings with it the risk of retaliation.
Known as much for her sass as her great cooking, Minny won’t take much guff from anyone, but her heart is always in the right place.
Minny Jackson is a 33-year-old housemaid who has a reputation as the best cook in Mississippi. She works for the Holbrook family, but an act of defiance finds her fired and traveling to the outskirts of Jackson to work for Celia Foote. Minny is Aibileen’s best friend and helped her get through her grief over losing her only son. Strong and loyal, increasingly unafraid to speak her mind, Minny refuses to be quiet or invisible.
Pretty, well-groomed Hilly Holbrook is the queen bee of the young mothers’ social network in Jackson, Miss., and the epitome of southern charm and hospitality—especially when she is manipulating someone.
Mean-spirited, social-climbing Hilly Holbrook is the undisputed leader of her circle of childhood girlfriends, all of whom, like her, are now married with babies—except for Skeeter, who is determined to follow her own path, much to Hilly’s dismay. Bordering on cruel to her household help, Hilly’s lack of empathy doesn’t stop there—she’s not kind to her aging mother, Missus Walters, either. Hilly has the courage of her convictions, which are completely out of step with where the world around her is going.
Unpretentious, rough-around-the edges Celia snagged the hottest bachelor in Jackson, Miss., and now is paying the price by being shunned from all the social circles.
Celia Foote is a twenty-something peroxide blonde from the other side of the tracks. What she lacks in social refinement, however, country girl Celia more than makes up for with her pin-up looks and big heart, which she unfortunately wears on her sleeve. A social outcast among the young women of Jackson—both for marrying Hilly Holbrook’s former beau Johnny Foote and her “white trash” background—Celia lives in exile on the huge Foote estate outside of town, where she tries to make a good home for her husband, despite her lack of homemaking skills.
BURBANK, Calif. (May 26, 2011) — DreamWorks Pictures and Geffen Records announced today that multiple Grammy® Award–winning recording artist Mary J. Blige wrote and recorded an original song for the soundtrack of DreamWorks Pictures and Participant Media’s The Help, a film based on the New York Times best-selling novel of the same name, opening in theaters August 12, 2011. The Help soundtrack - music from the Motion picture, will feature the original song from Mary J Blige “The Living Proof.” The soundtrack, from Interscope Records, will be available Tuesday, July 26 at select Starbucks locations.
The song, “The Living Proof,” was written and recorded by Blige especially for The Help after she saw a screening of the film, which takes place in 1960s-era Mississippi and chronicles the journey of three very different women who come together and embark on a secret writing project that breaks societal rules and puts them all at risk. “The beautiful thing about these women is that they were very smart,” says Blige. “They chose to walk in love and forgiveness.”
The film really celebrates the courage to inspire change, “To speak to so many women with this song means a lot to me” says Blige. “I wanted to be involved with this film, because I think we need to encourage each other more, we are here to tell a story.”
Blige has received 6 Grammy® Awards and four American Music Awards as well as recorded seven multi-platinum albums. Mary J. Blige has sold over 50 million albums worldwide and her next album "My Life Too....The Journey Continues" will be released Sept 20, 2011.