Oscar-winner Jessica Chastain revealed in a recent interview that, of all the roles she would want to reprise, it was her early-career stint on The Help that she would like to do a sequel for. Before the SAG AFTRA strike, Jessica spoke with Entertainment Weekly's The Awards podcast. "You know who I think about all the time, and I just wish I could play her [again]? Celia Foote," Jessica said.
Tate Taylor directed and adapted Kathryn Stockett's novel into the 2011 film about a journalist who explores the lives of Black women maids in wealthy white households in the South of America. Jessica played the Marilyn Monroe-esque housewife and outcast from a rather disapproving community. When her character, Celia, is rejected by other white wives in Jackson, Mississippi, her black maid becomes a source of comfort to the struggling Celia. Her maid, played by Octavia Spencer in an Oscar-winning performance, and Jessica's character create a charming and supportive partnership. "I just want to do something, Celia and Minny, and see what happened," she said. "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."
Jessica indicated that she threw herself into the role but didn't get to explore it as much as she would have liked because she was only a supporting character. Jessica added, "That's a character I wish I could revisit." The film was a commercial success and grossed over $169 million at the domestic box office. Jessica also earned her first Academy Award nomination for the 2011 film. She would later be nominated for two more Oscars for her leading roles in Zero Dark Thirty (2012) and The Eyes of Tammy Faye (2021), the latter of which won Jessica the Best Leading Actress award.
The information comes a few years after Viola Davis revealed she regretted ever signing on to The Help to begin with. In 2020, Viola told Vanity Fair she took the role because she was a "journeyman actor trying to get in" the film industry. But if she could go back in time and do things differently, we would've seen a different Aibileen Clark on our screens.