August 10 is shaping up to be an important day for actress Roslyn Ruff. Not only will she play her first performance in the off-Broadway hit Love, Loss and What I Wore, but the date also marks the release of the film adaptation of Kathryn Stockett’s bestseller The Help. Ruff appears in the hotly anticipated movie as Emma Stone’s maid, Pascagoula.
“At this point in my life, when I’m finally coming into my own womanhood, I’m having these work experiences that deal with fabulous women and their stories,” Ruff says of both female-centric projects. “The voices in [The Help] of African-American women—of women period—are so fully realized, and you don’t often get that [in film].”
Ruff shares a Broadway connection with one of her Help co-stars, two-time Tony winner and Oscar nominee Viola Davis: She served as Davis’ understudy in the 2010 Tony-winning revival of Fences. “On days when I wasn’t shooting, I would go to the set just to watch and take everything in,” she says of Davis, noting that they don't share any scenes. Asked about Stone, the Hollywood It Girl who stars as aspiring author Skeeter Phelan, Ruff says, “She’s a fabulous and very talented young lady. She has three films out this summer. What more can I say? I’m really excited for her!”
So, as Ruff prepares to talk clothing non-stop in Love, Loss and What I Wore, what did she think of Pascagoula’s maid uniform? “It was cool,” she says with a laugh. “It was interesting because our costume designer said to be historically accurate, we would have been wearing all white. She thought that looked too much like a nurse’s uniform, though, so she mixed it up with some blues and grays.”
Given Love, Loss and What I Wore’s performance schedule, Ruff isn't sure she will be able to catch The Help during its opening weekend. “I don’t know if I’m going to have time! It’s kind of a mixed blessing. I hear nothing but fabulous things, though, so hopefully I can fit it in.”
Click below to watch Davis and Stone in the trailer for The Help, then get tickets to see Roslyn Ruff live in Love, Loss and What I Wore at off-Broadway’s Westside Theatre.