The Nate Berkus Show is currently up for two Daytime Emmys — outstanding lifestyle program and lifestyle host — no small feat for a first-season series. But Berkus has even more to crow about. Following in the footsteps of his mentor, Oprah, the home-makeover whiz is turning movie mogul. And he's not starting small. Berkus is one of the executive producers of DreamWorks' hotly awaited August film The Help, based on Kathryn Stockett's bestseller about a secret sisterhood of women in 1960s Mississippi.
Wednesday's episode of Berkus' show gives us a sneak peak at the film with behind-the-scenes footage, drop-in visits from costars Allison Janney and Octavia Spencer (Ugly Betty), plus lots of cooking and design tips, Southern style.
"I've been really nervous because this is my first time working in movies but now that I've seen the finished film I'm elated," says Berkus, who came on board even before The Help was published and helped connect the filmmakers with financing.
"We were all ecstatic when the book hit No. 1 in the New York Times but that didn't mean it would automatically become the film Kathryn had envisioned," Berkus says. "When a great book makes it to the screen as a great movie, it's no small miracle." Though he's keeping mum on details, Berkus is already at work on a second producing project, this one also involving a book he feels has strong film potential.
Those who've seen The Help are predicting Oscar love, especially for Spencer's breakout performance. "That is just too exciting to even think about," says Berkus with a laugh. "If it were to happen it would be too insane!"