Tate Taylor's magical 2011 continued on Thursday, as his film "The Help" was nominated for four major Golden Globe awards. The '60s-set civil rights drama about a young woman named Skeeter (Emma Stone) who sets out to chronicle the untold tales of the local housekeepers in her Mississippi town was a passion project for Taylor; his childhood friend Kathryn Stockett wrote the best-selling book on which it was based, using stories from their own experiences growing up in Mississippi as the basis for the inspiring tale.
The film received nods for Best Picture, Drama, as well as acting nominations for Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer and Jessica Chastain. Taylor was overjoyed when he spoke to The Huffington Post on Thursday.
How does it feel to get your first nomination?
It's a crazy cocktail of surrealism, exhilaration, nerves and being busy. But really, pride. Complete pride. I mean, just to think, this just doesn't happen. A book nobody wanted to publish, a movie no one wanted to make with this director -- understandably, on paper, I get it -- and for me to get to go down there with my friends from Mississippi and bring Octavia down, my roommate; we met as PAs on "A Time to Kill" in '95 and came out to L.A. together, and to get to put her in a lead? C'mon, you've got to admit, this just doesn't happen.
It was a long process to get this thing made, did you ever envision this moment when you were trying to get it done, or did you just want to get it made?
I just wanted to get it made. I tell you what, one of the greatest feelings ever, aside from getting it green lit, was that October 13th when we wrapped, and everybody left everything they had on the Mississippi Delta soil. The actors, the crew, we worked our butts off, and we had such a feeling of accomplishment that we were just all proud of ourselves. And then to get to have this? This wonderful gravy on top? It's just the best, it's indescribable.
It's also a movie with a message, which we don't always see become so successful.
It's great. I just think what's happening is the world is off kilter right now. People are hurting, people are having to reshape their lives to change beyond their control, and I think people just like going to see ordinary people doing extraordinary things to fix their situation. I think it can't help but inspire people.
It also has three acting nominations.
It's pretty great. And I'm really proud of the fact that Jessica and Octavia are both nominated, because that story line is so important to me. It's one that would seemingly, if not be told by a Mississippian, might be cut down, but it was important to me to show, based on the films that had been made about the south in the past, that there are those relationships between whites and blacks, where there's love and respect and integrity and equality, and that was the relationship my mom had with the African American woman who raised me. That feels great for that not only to resonate, but for both those performers that I brought together to be recognized, it's just wonderful.
Do you want to say "I told you so"? Do you want to send an email out to all the people who passed on it, to gloat?
You know what? I don't want to say "I told you so," based on the fact that they passed on this movie, because I really do truly understand. You probably looked at this before it was made and were like, 'Woo, that's risky.' I would say to those folks, not "I told you so," but, "Hey, we can make these movies now more than we are, and people want to see them."
So what are you going to do now? I'm sure your name can now get something green lit.
Well I'm actually in a cabin right now in Martha's Vineyard, away from all this, adapting a novel from Dreamworks that I'm trying to get done that I'm really excited about. It's called "Peace Like A River," and I've been working on it all year, and I just really want to focus on it and have it turned in and done before January, because something tells me I'm not going to have a lot of writing time.
Will your crew, Allison Janney and Octavia Spencer, etc., be in that one? Are they now your go-to?
I've always admired what Christopher Guest has done, putting the same people in his films, and it's not out of loyalty, it's just smart filmmaking. To be able to write for people who are so talented and you know what their skills are, I will always put them in. Melissa McCarthy is a dear, dear friend of mine and she's been in everything I've ever made, and believe me, we had to bend over backwards to figure out how to get her into "The Help," but she just couldn't play 22... Now it's Viola and Jessica and Bryce, I want to work with all of them. If I cast you, chances are I love you and want to work with you again.