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Viola Davis feels huge responsibility in 'The Help'

August 4, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
The novel "The Help" spent more than 100 weeks on the bestseller list.

Now the story makes a jump to the big screen, led by previous Oscar nominee Viola Davis.

The film is set in the early 1960's, and focuses on an ambitious young college grad, played by Emma Stone, who convinces a group of maids in her southern hometown to tell their life stories.

"I know that I didn't want to play the stereotype," said Davis. "So often we see maids in the movies, you see them in the background, and making the food, and taking care of the kids, and they have a name and you never quite know who they are. They are in and out. They are invisible even in movies."

Davis says this film allowed her to shine a light on a part of history that is often overlooked.

"To bring them in the forefront," said Davis. "I knew who Abilene and Minny were, very much. They're my people- my mom, my grandmother, my aunts. That's why I did it. I felt a huge responsibility to the people and women in my life."

"The Help" also stars Alison Janney, Sissy Spacek, Octavia Spencer, and Bryce Dallas Howard.

It's in theaters next Wednesday.

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