Bryce Dallas Howard Wouldn’t act In The ‘The Help’ If It Had Been Made Today
‘The Help’ star Bryce Dallas Howard has admitted she wouldn’t make the 2011 movie nowadays, and has encouraged people to ”look to and learn from” storytellers’ work that centres on ”black characters from black creators”.
The 39-year-old actress’ 2011 movie has been criticised for its portrayal of civil rights struggles, as it is told through the eyes of a white woman, and she admitted she wouldn’t be a part of the project if it had been created in 2020.
When asked if she would still make ‘The Help’ today, she replied: ”No. But what I will say is: What I’ve seen is that folks have the courage to say that. ‘With all due respect, I love this project, I do not think you could be the filmmaker.’
”That’s a really powerful thing to say. That’s an important stance to take in order to make room for the true authentic storytellers.
”In this transformation that’s happening, there’s a new freedom of expression.
”I’m seeing from others – and feeling from myself – that it is less about worrying about offending people and looking within and saying, ‘Why? What really am I scared of, and what is that reinforcing?’
”And so I posted it and didn’t look back.”
But Bryce – who portrayed racist socialite Hilly Holbrook in the motion picture – has encouraged people to ”look to and learn from” storytellers’ work that centres on ”black characters from black creators”, admitting there is an ”extraordinary body of work” out there.
She added to the Los Angeles Times newspaper: ”Being around movie sets, I know what goes into a production.
”So when I’m watching a movie, I know when I see the director’s name that they were really, really involved and it’s largely their opinions and the writer’s opinion.
”The actors, I don’t want to say we’re props – we can be more than props. [Laughs] But the final decision is not ours.
”I know who has the power. And so right now, in this time, stories are going to play a crucial role in our ability to empathize and to be inspired into action.
”And the storytellers who we must listen to right now and look to and learn from – there’s an extraordinary body of work that centres on black characters from black creators.”
Bryce recently admitted she is ”so grateful” for the friends she made on the movie – which also featured Viola Davis, Emma Stone, and Octavia Spencer – but encouraged film fans to watch other projects instead.
She said: ”I’m so grateful for the exquisite friendships that came from that film … This being said, ‘The Help’ is a fictional story told through the perspective of a white character and was created by predominantly white storytellers. We can all go further.
”Stories are a gateway to radical empathy and the greatest ones are catalysts for action. If you are seeking ways to learn about the civil rights movement, lynchings, segregation, Jim Crow, and all the ways in which those have an impact on us today, here are a handful of powerful, essential, masterful films and shows that centre black lives, stories, creators and/or performers.”
She particularly advised people to tune in to the likes of Spike Lee’s ‘Malcolm X’ and ‘Watchmen’.