December 09, 2011 at 05:00 AM EST

The Help‘s extraordinary ensemble
”To the naked eye these characters could be full-out stereotypes. But every actor who came to the table felt that it was our job to make these characters real.”

Oscar buzz
”You know, actors are the most fragile egos that I know. We always want the confirmation that we did well. But my true reward was not sitting in the theater and going, ‘Wow, this is such a great film. I wish I were in it!”’

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