A special benefit screening of “The Help” – the film based on the New York Times best-selling book by Jackson native Kathryn Stockett – was shown in Madison today. As you can see, we were on the red carpet, along with another Fondrenite, photographer James Patterson who was on assignment for Garden & Gun. Stars Emma Stone, Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Allison Janney, Ahna O’Reilly, and Aunjanue Ellis were on hand, along with director Tate Taylor, producer Brunson Green, and writer Kathryn Stockett, all Jackson natives. Producer Chris Columbus was also in attendance today and spoke about the screening beneficiary, Baptist Town Community Development in Greenwood, the city used for much of the filming of the movie.
Another location, Jackson, is seen in the movie with shots at the State Capitol, The Mayflower Cafe,and the Fondren strip on the west side of North State Street, where we see the Capri and Butterfly Yoga – as a 60’s era Shell station. And then there’s Brent’s; Jackson’s only remaining soda fountain is featured twice in the movie. While growing up in Jackson, Stockett, Taylor and Green were regularly treated to milkshakes and grilled cheese at Brent’s. The production crew was able to recreate the real Brent’s Pharmacy as it was when the trio were children. Brent’s owner Brad Reeves was at today’s screening and said via Twitter he was “sitting between Katherine Stockett’s mother and the folks who own Hilly’s house in Greenwood ( a character from The Help.)