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'The Help' premiere: Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer bring the buzz

August 10, 2011 |  4:35 pm

Bryce Dallas Howard, Octavia Spencer, Emma Stone at "The Help" premiere

Award season doesn't get underway for a few more months, but there's already plenty of Oscar chatter about the actresses in "The Help," especially the performances of Octavia Spencer and Viola Davis, who star in the film along with Emma Stone and Bryce Dallas Howard. 

Davis plays a maid who is treated cruelly by the white family she works for in Jackson, Miss. But the 45-year-old actress, who was nominated for an Academy Award for her performance in 2008's "Doubt," said she has been ignoring the hype.

"There's positive reviews?" she asked on the red carpet for the premiere of the film in Beverly Hills Tuesday night. "I've stayed off the Internet. But that's good. It's great, because you never know if it's gonna work.

"You work on something and you work on something and you know how you want people to receive it, but when it's finally out there in the world and they get it and they're moved by it, that's why you wanted to become an actor."

Spencer, who plays Davis' character's outspoken best friend, said she was glad audiences were finally getting the chance to see the movie, directed by her longtime friend Tate Taylor.

"I'm excited for people to see it. I think it's important for the message of the film, about relationships and finding your voice and empowerment," she said. "Whether or not I'm excited about people seeing my performance, I don't know."

Even when it's one people are raving about?

"Actors can't be objective about their own work," she said matter-of-factly. "They just can't."

The film, an adaptation of Kathryn Stockett's bestselling novel about civil rights in the 1960s, hits theaters Wednesday.


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-- Amy Kaufman

Left photo: Bryce Dallas Howard, left, and Octavia Spencer at "The Help" premiere in Beverly Hills on Tuesday. Credit: Alex J. Berliner / ABImages

Right photo: Emma Stone. Credit: Matt Sayles / Associated Press