Oscars 2012: 'The Help' producer holds a Four Seasons slumber party
It was more than four years ago that "The Help" producer Brunson Green set out with director Tate Taylor and actress Octavia Spencer to turn their friend Kathryn Stockett's novel into a film.
Last night, the trio and a dozen or so other cast and crew members from the production gathered for dinner to celebrate how far they had come, anticipating that the popular movie that explores the relationships among a group of white Southern women and their maids in the 1960s might be rewarded with Oscar nominations.
Deemed the "Come What May" party, the festivities extended through the night as Spencer, Green, Taylor, costars Ahna O'Reilly and Chris Lowell had a sleepover party at a suite at the Four Seasons hotel in Beverly Hills.
"We had a slumber party and barely got any sleep," Green said Tuesday morning after the nominations for the 84th Academy Awards were revealed and his film collected four nods. "And we were all together when the announcements were made. It was pretty cool. Octavia, Tate and I started on this journey almost four years ago, so we figured we might as well be together at the end of the road too."
Green thought he had something special when the film was shooting in Greenwood, Miss., in the summer of 2010 but he never imagined it would end with a best picture nomination.
"Everyone thinks their baby is pretty, but you never know how the rest of the world is going to react," Green said. "The fact that the film has had such a huge audience and people have really embraced it" is the real prize, he added. "The fact that our industry is acknowledging us for making a great movie is just icing on the cake."
Green is especially encouraged by how well the film is doing overseas, since historical dramas with predominantly black casts don't always translate outside the U.S. The film has done particularly well in Australia ($7.8 million) and Spain ($4.2 million), two territories that didn't have large book sales.
"One of the coolest things was when I was at the Doha Film Festival with the film. We watched it in Arabic and saw a completely different culture crying at the end of the movie, being emotionally touched by the film and hopefully reflecting on their own society. It really gave me chills."
-- Nicole Sperling
Photo: "The Help" director Tate Taylor, left, cast members Octavia Spencer and Viola Davis, and producer Brunson Green pose at the Academy's Governors Awards. Credit: Associated Press /Chris Pizzello.