She Knows recently interviewed Bryce Dalls howard about her upcoming film The Help.
SheKnows: Octavia Spencer (Minny) told us that every day,
she looks forward to seeing what you’re wearing. Have you adjusted to seeing
yourself as ’60s Queen Bee Hilly?
Bryce Dallas Howard: It’s pretty insane. What’s interesting
is when you start doing a role, at first the image of the character is very
shocking. Then you play the character 18 hours a day. Proportionally, you’re in
character more hours than you are yourself, so [when I take off Hilly's wig],
I’m just, “Oh right, I have long hair! That’s so weird…” Also because the
character is so despicable, there’s a couple of times that I’ve gone to watch
playback — just to see a gesture that I did so that I could match it — and I
literally cringe. I don’t want to look at it. She’s such a terrible person.
SheKnows: We’ll get to that! But first, what did it take to
nail down Hilly’s accent?
Bryce Dallas Howard: It’s fun. I love [doing] it, but I
appreciate and need the support of a dialect coach. I wouldn’t know where to
begin, in terms of the nuance of the accent. I would probably do a broad
Southern accent. Nadia, the dialect coach, has been really specific. She’s
recorded a lot of people whose dialect would be pure, according to the time
period — people who have retained their accent from the ’60s or were part of
the junior league and the social circles these women would have been a part of.
It’s a mishmash of a bunch of recordings and trying to find a right balance.
SheKnows: Did you do a lot of research on the era, as
Bryce Dallas Howard: The research I did was fascinatingly
personal. My mom was raised a lot in the South and when she was growing up in
the ’60s and ’70s, she was at times ostracized and called “The Northerner.” She
started reading The Help and had to put it down, because it was so intense for her to read it.
Now she’s picked it up again and was like, “It’s such a good book, but I can’t
read it before bed. I can read Stephen King or Anne Rice before bed, but I have
to read The Help during the day,” because it rattles her. I spent a lot of time talking
to her about her experiences and what was normal and what wasn’t. It’s
Read more of the interview over on SheKnows