Kathryn Stockett's book, on which this film is based, was rejected sixty times before it was eventually published.
Although it is never mentioned in the movie how Eugenia got the nickname "Skeeter," it is revealed in the book that when she was born, her thin, leggy appearance caused her older brother to remark that she looked like a "skeeter" (mosquito).
Director Tate Taylor and Kathryn Stockett, the author of the book, were childhood friends in Jackson, Mississippi.
The film takes place in Jackson, Mississippi in 1963. This is when and where Civil Rights Activist Medgar Evers was assassinated. Real-life national news headlines of the assassination are used in the film at about an hour and twenty minutes into the film.
The author of the book "The Help," Kathryn Stockett, makes a brief appearance in this film as one of the ladies sitting in Hilly Holbrooks meeting, at roughly 53 minutes through.
The film's cast includes seven Oscar winners: Viola Davis, Emma Stone, Octavia Spencer, Mary Steenburgen, Allison Janney, Sissy Spacek, and Cicely Tyson (honorary winner); and one Oscar nominee: Jessica Chastain.
Minny was played by Octavia Spencer, who also provided narration for the audiobook adaptation. Spencer also played the role of Minny in a radio play version broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in July 2009.
Jessica Chastain, a vegan, ate soy ice cream melted in the microwave to gain weight for the role of Celia Foote.
Skeeter's bookshelf contains the following books: Ralph Ellison's "Invisible Man" Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird," and Margaret Mitchell's "Gone With the Wind." All three of these books are discussed many times in the original novel.
Bryce Dallas Howard, who played Hilly, was pregnant during the filming of this movie.
The film is based on the phenomenal New York Times best-selling book by Kathryn Stockett. With 3 million copies in print, The Help remained on the NYT best-seller list for 103 weeks, six of which were at Number 1.
Hilly's house is actually a residential property, and the featured cream couch was already part of it.
Katy Perry was almost cast in "a small role" but had to turn the role down, due to scheduling conflicts with the release of her album "Teenage Dream."
When Skeeter is writing at her desk, one of the books on her shelf is Richard Wright's novel "Native Son." Towards the beginning of the movie, Skeeter's naiveté is exhibited through her well-intended but potentially harmful acts of kindness towards and interactions with black people in her community. This is very reminiscent of Mary Dalton's treatment towards Bigger Thomas in Wright's novel.
The cast includes two sets of same-year Oscar winners for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress: 1980's Spacek (Best Actress) and Steenburgen (Best Supporting Actress) and 2017's Stone (Best Actress) and Davis (Best Supporting Actress).
On The Graham Norton Show (2007) (ep. 8, series 23, originally aired 25 May 2018), Bryce Dallas Howard told that she is mistaken for Jessica Chastain all the time. They both appear in this movie.
Bryce Dallas Howard and Emma Stone have both played Gwen Stacy in "Spider-Man" films. Howard played the character in Spider-Man 3 (2007); Stone played her in The Amazing Spider-Man (2012) and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014). They referred to each other as "the wonder Gwens" on set.
The painting above Celia's fireplace was found in the basement of a hospital, while the two armchairs from that scene were found in a secondhand store.
Minny Jackson is played by Octavia Spencer. In the novel, Minny's sister is called Octavia.
The bookstore in the film, "Avent & Clark Booksellers," was named after Avent Clark, a production assistant on the film from Greenwood, MS.
Viola Davis appeared in two movies that were both nominated for the Best Picture Academy Award (Oscar) in 2012. Davis starred in both this movie and Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (2011). Jessica Chastain also appeared in two movies that were both nominated for the Best Picture Academy Award (Oscar) in 2012. Chastain also starred in both this movie and The Tree of Life (2011).
Octavia Spencer would go on to have a recurring role in the first season of the TV show (2013) Mom which featured her The Help (2011) co-star Alison Janney.
Viola Davis's Best Actress Oscar nominated performance was the only one in the category in a Best Picture nominee that year.
The film features six Oscar winners: Sissy Spacek for The Coal Miner's Daughter (1980), Mary Steenburgen for Melvin and Howard (1980), Octavia Spencer for this film, Emma Stone for La La Land (2016), Viola Davis for Fences (2016) and Allison Janney for I, Tonya (2017); and two Oscar nominees: Jessica Chastain for this film and Zero Dark Thirty (2013) and Cicely Tyson for Sounder (1972).
Allison Janney and Brian Kerwin are married in this film. In The West Wing (1999), Janney's character dated a park ranger played by Kerwin.
Five of the film's main actresses starred in Marvel or DC comic book movie. Octavia Spencer portrayed a ticket booth collector in Spider-Man (2002), Bryce Dallas Howard portrayed Gwen Stacy in Spider-Man 3 (2007), and Emma Stone portrayed Gwen Stacy in The Amazing Spider-Man (2012) and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014). Viola Davis portrayed Amanda Waller in Suicide Squad (2016). Octavia Spencer had a small role as a check-in girl in Spider-Man (2002).
Academy Award winner Sissy Spacek appeared in The Help (2011) and in JFK (1991). Both films are based in the 1960s during the time when President John F. Kennedy was murdered. Both films were critically acclaimed and both were nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards. Spacek won the Academy Award for Best Leading Actress in 1981 for her role in Coal Miner's Daughter (1980).
There are three cast members from True Blood (2008), Nelsan Ellis (Lafayette), Anna Camp (Sarah Newline), and Aunjanue Ellis (Diane).
Award nominations: Hublot d'Or de la meilleure adaptation (Tate Taylor), Prix du Jeune Public de la Meilleure Adaptation (Tate Taylor) et Coup de Coeur du Hury de la Meilleure Adaptation (Tate Taylor) au Festival de la Page à l'Image, France).
Allison Janney (Charlotte Phelan) & Octavia Spencer (Minny Jackson) also worked together on Mom (2013) as Bonnie & Regina respectively.