Tag: the help

Jessica Chastain Career Milestones

Jessica Chastain Career Milestones

Born: Jessica N. Howard
Birth Date: March 29, 1981
Birth Place: Sacramento, California, USA
Height: 5′ 4″ (1,63 m)

Jessica Michelle Chastain was born in Sacramento, California, and was raised in a middle-class household in a northern California suburb. Her mother, Jerri Chastain, is a vegan chef whose family is originally from Kansas, and her stepfather is a fireman. She discovered dance at the age of nine and was in a dance troupe by age thirteen. She began performing in Shakespearean productions all over the Bay area.

An actor in a production of “Romeo & Juliet” encouraged her to audition for Juilliard as a drama major. She became a member of “Crew 32” with the help of a scholarship from one of the school’s famous alumni, Robin Williams.

In her last year at Juilliard, she was offered a holding deal with TV writer/producer John Wells and she eventually worked in three of his TV shows. Jessica continues to do theatre, having played in “The Cherry Orchard”, “Rodney’s Wife”, “Salome” and “Othello”. She spends her time between New York and Los Angeles, working in theater, film and TV.

In 2011, she had a prolific year in film. She was nominated for and won a number of awards, including a 2012 Oscar nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role for Duygularin Rengi (2011).

Jessica Chastain Career Milestones

Jessica Chastain has emerged as one of Hollywood’s most sought after actors of her generation. Born and raised in Northern California, Chastain attended the Juilliard School in New York City. While there she starred in Romeo and Juliet and went on to receive glowing reviews for her performances in The Cherry Orchard opposite Michelle Williams at Williamstown; and Richard Nelson’s Rodney’s Wife opposite David Strathairn off-Broadway at Playwright’s Horizons.

Chastain will next be seen starring opposite Brad Pitt and Sean Penn in the drama The Tree Of Life, written and directed by Terrence Malick for River Road Productions. The story concerns the loss of innocence as seen through the eyes of the son of the characters played by Chastain and Pitt. The film was shot in Texas in early 2008 and will be released in May 2011.

Chastain also stars as the female lead in Miramax’s The Debt alongside Helen Mirren and Sam Worthington. Chastain plays an Israeli Mossad agent sent on a mission to apprehend the WWII Nazi surgeon from the concentration camp who tortured Jewish prisoners. Production took place in Budapest and Tel Aviv.

Chastain will also be seen in Ami Mann’s upcoming feature film, The Fields. This psychological thriller is based on true events that took place in a small Pennsylvania town in 1973. Jessica stars alongside Sam Worthington and Chloe Moretz. Chastain recently wrapped production on Dreamworks’ adaptation of the best-selling Kathryn Stockett novel The Help playing Celia Foote, an insecure Southern lady constantly trying to fit in with the high society women who reject her. The story centers on black maids working in white households in the early 1960s in Jackson, Mississippi. Viola Davis, Emma Stone, Bryce Dallas Howard and Octavia Spencer are among the cast. The film will be released in August 2011.

Jessica Chastain Career Milestones

Chastain will soon begin filming Wettest County in the World opposite Shia LaBeouf, Mia Wasikowska, Guy Pearce, Tom Hardy and Gary Oldman. The film will be directed by John Hillcoat and produced by Douglas Wick.

In 2009, Jessica played the role of Desdemona in the classic play Othello opposite Philip Seymour Hoffman. Directed by Peter Sellars, the project ran beginning in Vienna, then Germany and finishing in New York.

At the senior class Juilliard showcase, Jessica landed a coveted talent deal with Emmy award winning executive producer and writer John Wells, the show runner of “E.R.”, “West Wing” and producer of White Oleander. After completing a pilot for John Wells and director PJ Hogan (My Best Friend’s Wedding), Jessica returned to the stage in the Los Angeles Wadsworth Theatre production of Salome, where Academy Award®-winners Estelle Parsons (director) and Al Pacino hand picked Jessica to play the title role of ‘Salome’ opposite Al. Continuing the collaboration, producer Barry Navidi commenced the film version of Salome entitled Wild Salome directed by Al Pacino, where they filmed behind the scenes and portions of the play’s production.

Chastain’s stage work in Salome received enormous critical attention and led to her landing the dynamic title role of Jolene in the Dan Ireland directed production opposite Rupert Friend, Frances Fisher, Dermot Mulroney and Michael Vartan. This adaptation of the E.L. Doctorow (Ragtime) short story, Jolene depicts a young woman’s odyssey of relationships over the course of ten years. Chastain won the Best Actress Award at the 2008 Seattle Film Festival for this role.

Chastain currently lives in California.

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‘Contagion’ tops the box office

'Contagion' tops the box office

The thriller starring Matt Damon knocks “The Help” out of first place for the first time in three weeks.

“Contagion” infected enough moviegoers to catch the top spot at the box office. The Warner Bros. pandemic thriller directed by Steven Soderbergh and starring an A-list cast that includes Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, Jude Law and Gwyneth Paltrow coughed up $23.1 million in its first weekend, according to studio estimates Sunday.

The film’s contagious opening marked the beginning of the fall movie season by exceeding the studio’s estimates. “I think Steven Soderbergh made a compelling movie that tapped into that fear that many of us have about illnesses, viruses and pandemics,” said Jeff Goldstein, Warner Bros. general sales manager. “It’s like a train or car accident. You can’t look away. You prefer not to think about it, but when it’s presented to you, you want to learn more.”

Despite the breakout success of “Contagion,” it was the lowest grossing weekend of the year so far for the film industry, according to Paul Dergarabedian, box-office analyst for Hollywood.com. Dergarabedian said that’s typical for the weekend after Labor Day and expected business to pick up in the coming weeks as the Academy Awards race begins.

“There are some great titles that are on the way,” said Dergarabedian. “I see several promising films — Oscar contenders like “50/5/” ‘The Descendants’ and ‘Ides of March,’ and even potential big moneymakers like “Real Steel”

“The Help” the acclaimed DreamWorks Pictures drama distributed by Disney about black Southern maids speaking out during the civil-rights movement, slipped to No. 2 with $8.7 million after three straight weeks at the top, bringing its domestic total to $137 million.

“Warrior,” the Lionsgate mixed-martial arts drama starring Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton, punched up a $5.6 million debut in the No. 3 position. David Spitz, head of distribution for Lionsgate, said he expects <“Warrior” to mirror the simmering success of “The Help.”

“The film has gotten unbelievable reviews,” said Spitz. “The audience reaction we’re getting on the movie is consistent. People like the film. It’s a slow burn. We think we’re going to be in theaters for a long time.”

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‘The Help’ Works It Over Labor Day

'The Help' Works It Over Labor Day

The Help stayed in charge for the third weekend in a row, remaining the saving grace of a moribund close to Summer 2011. Down only two percent from last weekend, the drama earned an estimated $14.2 million, lifting its total to $118.6 million in 26 days. For the four-day Labor Day weekend, Walt Disney Pictures projected The Help at $18 million. The last movie to hold the top spot for three weekends was Inception.

Among the modest beginnings, The Debt was the only remotely impressive. Second, the thriller collected an estimated $ 9.7 million on nearly 1,900 screens at 1,826 sites, nearly three-quarters of The American on the same weekend last year and won 11.6 million dollars since it began Wednesday. Distributor Focus Features note that the debt has been mainly to people over 30 years, and that the public was near equally distributed between the sexes.

Horror movies duels, Apollo 18 and Shark Night 3D, were just $ 60,000 apart in their estimates, but both were bloodless. Apollo grabbed 8.70 million in 3328 locations near one screen, while Shark packed $ 8.64 million on about 4100 screens in 2806 locations. Shark is about 2500 test sites in 3D, and they accounted for 86 percent of its business.

Apollo had the lowest yet for a launch “found film” horror film, while Shark bite was not even as big as the diminutive Piranha 3D $ 10.1 million since last summer. The demographics were 57 percent of men and 56 percent under 25 for Apollo (according to the distributor The Weinstein Company), and 52 percent to 57 percent of women and under 25 for Shark (as Relativity Media).

Rise of the Planet of the Apes completed the Top Five, generating an estimated $ 7.8 million. Restarting ape fell only 12 percent and rallied $ 160 million in 31 days. Stop by 29 percent, Colombiana slipped to sixth place with an estimated $ 7.4 million and made $ 22 million in ten days.

Our idiot brother fared better (down 26 percent) than other second weekend survivals, but the comedy was still insignificant with an estimated $ 5.2 million for a total of $ 15.4 million in ten days. Do not be afraid of the dark fell further into oblivion, the collapse of 42 percent to an estimated 4.9 million settlement for a $ 16.4 million in ten days.

Meanwhile, the tragedy of September golf day in Utopia was a failure with an estimated $ 1.2 million at 561 locations in its infancy, and the re-deployment of Cars 2 impasse. Following Pixar took in an estimated $ 1.1 million sites in 2043, compared to Toy Story 3 is $ 1.9 million re-development on the same weekend last year. With 188.6 million dollars in 73 days, Cars 2 will be the first Pixar film since A Bug’s Life does not reach $ 200 million, and it’s also less crowded in the film business again by a wide margin.

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The Help: Mississippi as a Character

The Help: Mississippi As A Character

“The South is an oppressive, complicated, beautiful, tragic, loving place all in one bundle. And being there as a group, like we were in summer camp, really bled into these performances and into the film.” —Tate Taylor, director

“The Help” is set in Mississippi, and although a fictional story, it takes place during one of the most important eras in our country’s cultural history—the changing times of the 1960s.

Director and screenwriter Tate Taylor knew from the beginning that “The Help” had to be filmed on location in Mississippi. He wanted to capture the period of time in a very honest and entertaining way and that could not be accomplished on a movie studio back lot. Read more

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Narrow win for ‘Apes’ at the box office

Narrow win for 'Apes' at the box office

“Planet of the Apes” nabbed the No. 1 spot, but “The Help” was close on its tail.

Rebellious apes have held off Southern maids for a narrow win at the weekend box office.

Studio estimates Sunday pegged “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” at $27.5 million, good enough for its second-straight No. 1 finish. The 20th Century Fox release raised its 10-day domestic total to $104.9 million.

The “Planet of the Apes” prequel came in just ahead of “The Help,” a drama about Mississippi maids during the civil-rights movement that debuted at No. 2 with $25.5 million. “The Help,” a DreamWorks release distributed by Disney, has taken in $35.4 million domestically since opening Wednesday.

The Warner Bros. horror sequel “Final Destination 5,” the latest in the franchise where death stalks victims who had been fated to die earlier, opened at No. 3 with $18.4 million.

The weekend’s other two new wide releases had soft openings. Sony’s action comedy “30 Minutes or Less,” starring Jesse Eisenberg as a pizza deliveryman forced to help rob a bank, was No. 5 with $13 million, just behind Sony’s surprise animated smash “The Smurfs,” which slipped to fourth-place with $13.5 million and lifted its three-week total to $101.5 million.

The singers from TV’s “Glee” failed to find a big-screen audience as 20th Century Fox’s “Glee: The 3D Concert Movie” opened outside the top-10, finishing at No. 11 with just $5.7 million. The concert film was shot during the cast’s recent North American tour.

“Rise of the Planet of the Apes” and “The Help” have exceeded their studios’ early box-office expectations. Both received strong reviews, “Apes” for surprising drama amid dazzling visual effects to create the simians, “The Help” for great performances from Viola Davis, Emma Stone, Octavia Spencer and their co-stars in the adaptation of the best-seller about black maids who go public with stories about working for often racist white employers.

“You’ve really got to see it to believe it because of the effects,” Fox distribution executive Chris Aronson said of “Apes.” ”The combination of the effects and an emotional story makes for a very satisfying trip to the movies.”

The “Apes” prequel added $40.5 million overseas, raising its international total to $75 million and worldwide haul to nearly $180 million.

Female crowds made up 74 percent of the audience for “The Help,” and 60 percent of viewers were older than 35. That’s a sign “The Help” could have a long shelf life at theaters, since women and older audiences tend to get drawn to films through word-of-mouth rather than rushing out over opening weekend the way young crowds do.

“The Help” already has far outpaced the $20 million Disney executives hoped for over the first five days, and the film is playing strongly in both urban and middle America markets, said Dave Hollis, the studio’s head of distribution.

“The book and the way it kind of rose to the best-seller list was very much this word-of-mouth, viral thing where people say, ‘you’ve got to read this thing I just read,’ and we’re hoping the movie can do the same kind of thing,” Hollis said.

“The Smurfs” also has outstripped expectations. The family hit added $60 million overseas to raise its worldwide total to $242 million, and Sony announced a sequel over the past week.

“We were ready to make the second one before we even released the first,” said Rory Bruer, head of distribution for Sony. “We felt confident it was going to work, but I don’t think anybody had any idea it was going to work to this level.”

Overall domestic business increased for the fifth-straight weekend. Revenues totaled $152 million, up 6 percent from the same weekend last year, when “The Expendables” led with $34.8 million, according to box-office tracker Hollywood.com.

“We’re ending the summer on a high note,” said Hollywood.com analyst Paul Dergarabedian. “The usually unsung month of August can be the time when a lot of unexpected things happen that benefit the box office.”

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Hollywood.com. Where available, latest international numbers are also included. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.

1. “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” $27.5 million ($40.5 million international).
2. “The Help,” $25.5 million.
3. “Final Destination 5,” $18.4 million.
4. “The Smurfs,” $13.5 million ($60 million international).
5. “30 Minutes or Less,” $13 million.
6. “Cowboys & Aliens,” $7.6 million ($7 million international).
7. “Captain America: The First Avenger,” $7.1 million ($12.2 million international).
8. “Crazy, Stupid, Love,” $6.93 million.
9. “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2,” $6.9 million ($30 million international).
10. “The Change-Up,” $6.2 million.

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‘The Help’ author was rejected 60 times

Kathryn Stockett was rejected 60 times

Kathryn Stockett’s best-selling book is now a movie, but it was almost nipped in the bud.

If you ask my husband my best trait, he’ll smile and say, “She never gives up.” But if you ask him my worst trait, he’ll get a funny tic in his cheek, narrow his eyes and hiss, “She. Never. Gives. Up.”

It took me a year and a half to write my earliest version of The Help. I’d told most of my friends and family what I was working on. Why not? We are compelled to talk about our passions. When I’d polished my story, I announced it was done and mailed it to a literary agent.

Six weeks later, I received a rejection letter from the agent, stating, “Story did not sustain my interest.” I was thrilled! I called my friends and told them I’d gotten my first rejection! Right away, I went back to editing. I was sure I could make the story tenser, more riveting, better.

A few months later, I sent it to a few more agents. And received a few more rejections. Well, more like 15. I was a little less giddy this time, but I kept my chin up. “Maybe the next book will be the one,” a friend said. Next book? I wasn’t about to move on to the next one just because of a few stupid letters. I wanted to write this book.

A year and a half later, I opened my 40th rejection: “There is no market for this kind of tiring writing.” That one finally made me cry. “You have so much resolve, Kathryn,” a friend said to me. “How do you keep yourself from feeling like this has been just a huge waste of your time?”

That was a hard weekend. I spent it in pajamas, slothing around that racetrack of self-pity—you know the one, from sofa to chair to bed to refrigerator, starting over again on the sofa. But I couldn’t let go of The Help. Call it tenacity, call it resolve or call it what my husband calls it: stubbornness.

After rejection number 40, I started lying to my friends about what I did on the weekends. They were amazed by how many times a person could repaint her apartment. The truth was, I was embarrassed for my friends and family to know I was still working on the same story, the one nobody apparently wanted to read.

Sometimes I’d go to literary conferences, just to be around other writers trying to get published. I’d inevitably meet some successful writer who’d tell me, “Just keep at it. I received 14 rejections before I finally got an agent. Fourteen. How many have you gotten?”

By rejection number 45, I was truly neurotic. It was all I could think about—revising the book, making it better, getting an agent, getting it published. I insisted on rewriting the last chapter an hour before I was due at the hospital to give birth to my daughter. I would not go to the hospital until I’d typed The End. I was still poring over my research in my hospital room when the nurse looked at me like I wasn’t human and said in a New Jersey accent, “Put the book down, you nut job—you’re crowning.”

It got worse. I started lying to my husband. It was as if I were having an affair—with 10 black maids and a skinny white girl. After my daughter was born, I began sneaking off to hotels on the weekends to get in a few hours of writing. I’m off to the Poconos! Off on a girls’ weekend! I’d say. Meanwhile, I’d be at the Comfort Inn around the corner. It was an awful way to act, but—for God’s sake—I could not make myself give up.

In the end, I received 60 rejections forThe Help. But letter number 61 was the one that accepted me. After my five years of writing and three and a half years of rejection, an agent named Susan Ramer took pity on me. What if I had given up at 15? Or 40? Or even 60? Three weeks later, Susan sold The Help to Amy Einhorn Books.

The point is, I can’t tell you how to succeed. But I can tell you how not to: Give in to the shame of being rejected and put your manuscript—or painting, song, voice, dance moves, [insert passion here]—in the coffin that is your bedside drawer and close it for good. I guarantee you that it won’t take you anywhere. Or you could do what this writer did: Give in to your obsession instead.

And if your friends make fun of you for chasing your dream, remember—just lie.

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