By Kristy Alpert
On May 13, 2010, DreamWorks Studios formally announced that a major motion picture based on Mississippi native Kathryn Stockett’s bestselling novel “The Help” would be filmed in Greenwood, Mississippi. The town was used to film more than 95 percent of the movie, and many of the cast members called Greenwood home for several months during the filming, renting out houses around town and extended-stay hotel rooms at the prestigious Alluvian Hotel.
The award-winning hotel was not only home to many of the actors during filming but today also plays a vital role in hosting “Help”-crazed tourists with tons of group-friendly options, such as its amazing group packages at the Alluvian Spa; its “Help”-themed classes at the Viking Cooking School, where groups can learn how to make Minny’s chocolate pie — sans special ingredient, of course; and a fabulous complimentary Southern-style breakfast before groups depart for the guided “Help” driving tour of the town.
“For groups of 10 or more, we offer complimentary step-on-guide service for a driving tour to see the locations used in the film, where the stars stayed, as well as spots for cast and crew sightings,” said Paige Hunt, executive director for the Greenwood Convention and Visitors Bureau. “I’m usually the step-on guide, and I was heavily involved with all aspects of the filming, from scouting locations to being an extra in the movie, so I can give some real behind-the-scenes’ tidbits from the filming.”