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We Finally Know What Hilly Was Really Eating In The Help

Revenge is usually a dish best served cold. In "The Help," though, it's best served with a dash of vanilla from Mexico and a nauseating secret ingredient. The 2011 film follows a white journalist attempting to expose the mistreatment of two black maids working for racist white families during the Civil Rights Era of Mississippi.

The film's standout scene comes after socialite Hilly Holbrook (Bryce Dallas Howard) unfairly fires Minny Jackson (Octavia Spencer), so she does a "terrible awful" thing to get revenge. Minny returns to Holbrook's house with one of her famous chocolate pies just for Hilly, who continues to berate her as she licks pie filling from her fingers. After Hilly scarves down two slices and gushes about how delicious it is, Minny reveals her "real special" ingredient by saying, "Eat my s—." It takes a moment for the horror to set in for Hilly, who becomes frozen with shock as her mother mocks her. This moment is included in the expose, and "Two Slice Hilly" feverishly but unsuccessfully denies that it was her.

The impact of this scene helped Spencer win the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress (via IMDb). Despite the positive reviews, many were critical of how "The Help" glossed over racial themes and told the story of black women's pain from the perspective of a white character

However, the humbling pie scene between Minny and Hilly remains memorable. So, what was Bryce Dallas Howard actually eating during that scene?

Minny's famous chocolate pie recipe

Of course, Bryce Dallas Howard wasn't channeling Divine à la "Pink Flamingos." Hilly's two slices of humble pie were made by a local baker in Mississippi named Lee Ann Flemming. The baker had made a sugar-free version of the pie with a handmade gluten-free crust for the scene, telling EW that she "had to have 12 pies for that scene," and it had taken 12 hours to bake everything.

"The Help" property master Chris Ubick explained that two pies were used for that scene. He told EW "...we switched it out for a pie that didn't have any sugar in it for [Howard]. It was a very big sleight of hand scene so that she could eat lots of pie and not feel like she's been eating so much sugar."

During an interview with MTV, Howard revealed that she "ate a portion of about like ten to 12 pies" while shooting this scene. She added that it was helpful Flemming's second pie was "light" so she hadn't gotten sick, joking that it would've made for an authentic reaction from her character if she had.