We hate it when our friends become successful, or so the saying goes, but try telling that to Tate Taylor, the self-described “nobody” whose adaptation of Kathryn Stockett’s bestselling 2009 novel The Help arrived in theaters Wednesday.
Who is Taylor? Don’t worry, you’re hardly alone in asking. The 41-year-old actor, screenwriter and director, for whom The Help is his first studio production, grew up with Stockett in Jackson, Miss. Like Skeeter, one of the heroines of the fledgling author’s story about African-American maids and their complicated relationships with white families in early-’60s Mississippi, both were looked after as children by black housekeepers.
Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson & the Olympians series may not have risen to the heights of world-conquering success that J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books did, but to young, adventure-loving readers and fans of Greek mythology, the San Antonio-born author’s page-turners are indispensable. That they would eventually land on the big screen seemed a no-brainer.