Veteran character actress Octavia Spencer has signed on to play Minny Jackson in the film adaptation of Kathryn Stockett’s best-selling novel The Help. The actress, who can next be seen in Dinner for Schmucks starring Paul Rudd and Steve Carell, has known Stockett for close to a decade and actually served as the inspiration for the outspoken character. (Stockett was researching the book when she first met Spencer through their mutual friend Tate Taylor, who is the writer and director of the film.) Spencer will join Viola Davis, Bryce Dallas Howard and Emma Stone in the Dreamworks’ production which is set to begin filming this July in Mississippi.