Jessica Chastain Suggests a Sequel to Controversial Film ‘The Help’ Alongside Octavia Spencer

The Help (Credit: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

Jessica Chastain says she wants to reprise her role in a sequel to The Help.

The 2011 film was adapted from Kathryn Stockett’s novel of the same name. The narrative takes place in 1963 Mississippi, where a white journalist decides to follow the lives of a group of Black women who work for affluent white families.

Chastain played Celia Foote, a white housewife who befriends her domestic worker, Minerva “Minny” Jackson played by Octavia Spencer, who won an Oscar for her role.

Related: Viola Davis Admits Having Regrets About Her Role in ‘The Help’

During a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly’s “Awardist” podcast, Chastain said she’s always thought about her character and would love to revisit the role in a sequel focused on Celia and Minny’s relationship.

“You know who I think about all the time, and I just wish I could play her? Celia Foote,” Chastain said. “I just want to do something, Celia and Minny, and see what happened. You know they ended up living together and raising the baby together, they were best friends. How amazing would that film be? I loved her, and I got to be a bit silly.”

The Oscar-winning actress went on to add, “A lot of my characters I feel like I got to experience a lot. Celia, it was such a deep dive for me. I really threw on that character and I didn’t really get to mine that much material, because I was a supporting part of that story. That’s a character I wish I could revisit.”

While The Help was initially met with positive reviews, it has since been subject to criticism for its white savior theme.

Although the storyline followed the lives of Black women, it was told through the lens of white journalist, Skeeter (Emma Stone), and centered the experiences of the white families they worked for.

Viola Davis, who starred alongside Octavia Spencer as the character Abileen Clark, previously expressed regrets about starring in The Help.

“I just felt that at the end of the day that it wasn’t the voices of the maids that were heard,” she said in a comment to The New York Times in 2018. “I know Aibileen. I know Minny. They’re my grandma. They’re my mom.”

She added at the time, “I know that if you do a movie where the whole premise is, I want to know what it feels like to work for white people and to bring up children in 1963, I want to hear how you really feel about it. I never heard that in the course of the movie.”