WEST HOLLYWOOD, California — Emma Stone and Bryce Dallas Howard spoke to a packed room at the Pacific Design Center on Thursday night (June 2) for the latest installment in MTV’s Sneak Peek Week, opening up about retro tearjerker “The Help,” which screened to an excited crowd shortly before the chat.
Since the book-turned-film is certainly emotional, we asked its leading ladies if they ever reach for the tissues in the movie theater.
“Oh, I cry!” Emma Stone admitted. “It’s shocking I’m not crying right now. I cried at ’Air Bud.’ I cried at ’Spice World.’ ” But what about when she watches her own movies? “That’s crying out of terror and self-loathing,” she joked.
All joking aside, Stone is really proud of “The Help” and “felt it reflected the book.”
“When you read the book, you have a vision of those characters too,” she said. “I definitely understand being protective of the material.”
“The Help” is the film adaptation of the best-selling novel set in the South during the civil-rights movement. It stars Stone, Howard and Viola Davis and focuses on the bonds formed in the face of adversity. Stone is the flick’s protagonist, Skeeter, who works to make a change through writing a book about the hardships felt by minorities in the South during this pivotal time in history.
“She’s a bit of a modern woman,” Stone said of her character. “When I was younger, I thought I wanted to be a writer. She’s curious about people and she’s questioning her life.”
Howard, meanwhile, plays the bigoted Hilly, and the actress said she latched onto something very specific about the character to make her relatable.
“The thing I eventually grabbed onto was her ignorance,” Howard explained. “Once I understood, I then could attempt to play that character.”
Stone used her costumes to help her get into character. “The accent is always a major concern, and then, of course, knowing how to be Southern, there’s a lot of challenges,” Stone said. “This is the first time I felt more in character after putting on the wardrobe. It was wonderful to have that.”
Stick with MTV News all week as we gear up for Sunday’s Movie Awards with a Sneak Peek Week screening and live-stream Q&A session every night this week.
Will wizards, vampires or dream thieves steal the 2011 MTV Movie Awards? Find out June 5, when the 20th annual show airs live at 9 p.m. ET/PT. Tune in at 7:30 p.m. ET/PT that night for the “America’s Best Dance Crew” finale and Movie Awards pre-show, loaded with live action from the red carpet, exclusive movie clips and a special edition of “After Hours.” To get into the magical movie mood, it’s Sneak Peek Week — five days of exclusives and interviews with the casts of “Fright Night,” “Horrible Bosses” and more. Check out everything there is to know about Sneak Peek Week, the Movie Awards and the pre-show at MovieAwards.MTV.com!