Viola Davis

*Kathryn Stockett’s best-selling debut novel “The Help,” which follows the lives of three extraordinary women during the civil rights era in 1960s Mississippi, is being adapted for the big screen with an all-star cast.

Viola Davis has just been cast as determined maid Aibileen Clark, reports Entertainment Weekly. Allison Janney was recently slotted to take the role of Charlotte Phelan, mother to plucky heroine Skeeter Phelan (Emma Stone).

“Ugly Betty’s” Octavia Spencer will star as Aibileen’s tough-talking pal, maid Minny Jackson, and Bryce Dallas Howard will take on Hilly Holbrook, Skeeter’s snooty adversary.

Below, listen to an except of first chapter “Aibileen” followed by an interview with author Kathryn Stockett.