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Two Childhood Friends Help Each Succeed in their Creative Careers

Updated on December 9, 2017
Kenna McHugh profile image

Kenna worked on many productions as PA, Craft Services, Talent Scout, Grip, and Producer. Credits include Bowling for Columbine, Wallace.

There is a wonderful back story of how two friends helped each other break into two rather competitive fields: publishing and film making.

It was a friendship between two people that got the book, The Help, published as a bestseller. And, it also took the same two people to make it into a movie. Director and Screenwriter Tate Taylor and Kathryn Stockett were childhood friends in the 1970s. They grew up together in Mississippi.

Stockett took five years to write the novel and over 60 rejections from literary agents. She approached Taylor with her dilemma. Taylor decided to read the manuscript. He was "blown away" and very moved by the truth within the story. The story concerns unlikely women coming together to make a change in Mississippi in 1963.

Both their mothers were single and worked full time. Similar to the women in the story, they needed help raising their children. Taylor and Stockett called the women who help raise them "co-mothers."

Taylor supported Kathryn saying that her manuscript was fantastic and not to give up. He promised he'd make it into a movie if it didn't get published.

Great Interview

Promises Pay Off

So, Stockett's career took off with her bestseller and Taylor wrote the adaptation of the book for the silver screen and directed the movie with a great cast.

Needless to say, The Help was published and became an ultimate bestseller. But, Taylor remembered the story because of its authenticity. It continued to resonated with him from the moment he opened the book. He thought the story reflected his childhood friendship with Kathryn, although their lives were very different from the characters in the story.

Their story offers a solution those who would like to break into writing or filmmaking to remember their childhood friends as a source of inspiration or help. Either way, collaborating on a project with a childhood friend is a wonderful way to keep the friendship building and lasting forever.

Having friends that help you is so special in real life. This is a great story of Stockett and Taylor helping each other, working their way to success in their chosen careers.


© 2011 Kenna McHugh


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    • Kenna McHugh profile image

      Kenna McHugh 6 years ago from Northern California


      Thanks! I found the story inspirational too. It will be interesting to see if the writer and director work together again.

    • Bud Gallant profile image

      Bud Gallant 6 years ago from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

      Wow... That is an amazing and inspirational story.

      Thanks so much for sharing it.