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The Help Star Viola Davis: “Thank God for Moonshine”

The Help cast cleaned up at the Critics' Choice Movie Awards on Thursday night: Viola Davis won best actress, Octavia Spencer won best supporting actress, and the entire cast landed best acting ensemble.

So what's the secret to their wild success? According to Viola Davis, it has a little something to do with moonshine.

Not long after accepting her best acting ensemble prize, Viola revealed what helped keep her and her co-stars energized on the set of their mega-hit film: "Thank God for moonshine, lemon pie, fried butter on fried bread," Viola candidly told reporters at the backstage press conference. "I think we had to cut loose on this one. We needed an escape from this time period to remind us that we weren't really in this time period. And really being in Greenwood, Mississippi, instead of on a sound stage, we were happily forced to be together, having a lot of laughs with apple pie and moonshine at night and I think what you see is that love and that bonding during those fabulous times."

Later in the night, after her best actress win, a shocked Viola confided she hadn't expected the honor and had her "loser face" prepared. After demonstrating her stiff smile, she joked, "I was happy with it, too! I was really going to be okay. I was going to go home and get in my jacuzzi with my husband and maybe have a glass of champagne."

But she wound up being able to celebrate for real! And she wasn't the only member of The Help cast singled out for an acting award: With her best supporting actress statue in hand, Octavia Spencer admitted backstage that her success in the movie has inspired her to stick to a new workout regimen. "The biggest change is three days a week I work out with a trainer because otherwise, I would half ass it," she said.

Most importantly, the cast's closeness was visible to all. "It feels like The Help table is having more fun than any of us," best actor winner George Clooney remarked during the show.

Must be the moonshine!

01.14.2012 / 01:54 AM EDT by Carole Glines
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