Oprah Winfrey continues to evolve and inspire. The media mogul has had a challenging time as the CEO of OWN, but she shows no signs of slowing down. The talk show host and actress is starring in a new cinematic project called "The Butler." The historic film chronicles an African American White House domestic worker named Eugene Allen. Allen worked in the White House serving eight presidents from 1952 to 1986.
Allen, who died in 2012, will be played by Forest Whitaker. Oprah will portray his wife, Gloria Gaines. In real life, Winfrey was born during Mr. Allen's early White House tenure in 1954. It shows how far we've come that Oprah had a hand in galvanizing voters to support current U.S. President Barack Obama, who is of African descent.
The meaningful biopic is being directed by "Precious" director and "Monster's Ball" producer, Lee Daniels. When asked how one prepares to direct the legendary HARPO head Daniels responded, "I don't know. Quietly." The project is currently shooting in New Orleans. The director is excited about the film noting, "It's a very serious subject. It's such an important story. It's a black version of 'Forrest Gump.' I'm very proud of it." Oprah has produced many Hollywood projects but with "The Butler" she gets to just focus on her acting.
Daniels, who pulled incredible performances from Gabourey Sidibe, Mo'Nique and Mariah Carey in "Precious" has an all-star cast for this latest project. Winfrey has a buddy on "The Butler" set with Jane Fonda. Fonda is playing former First Lady Nancy Reagan. The film also co-stars co-star Cuba Gooding Jr. and Lenny Kravitz. Other A-listers on the project include: Liam Neeson, Robin Williams, Nicole Kidman, John Cusack and Minka Kelly.
Winfrey's period costumes on the flick include a beehive hairdo and funky patterned shirt. It will be interesting to watch the TV veteran lose herself in the role. Of course the icon is no stranger to the silver screen. The majority of her roles have been cinematic characters with greater significance. Oprah made her debut in Steven Spielberg's " The Color Purple " as the brassy Sofia. She also played Mattie Michael in "The Women of Brewster Place." After starring as Zora Williams in the TV movie "Before Women Had Wings," Winfrey brought Toni Morrison's "Beloved" to the big screen, playing the role of former slave Sethe.
Winfrey has showed her lighter side too. A recent spoof with late night host Jimmy Fallon included everything from "Book Club Fight Club" to a bathtub scene. She also lent her voice to "Charlotte's Web," as Gussy the Goose.
No matter what, Oprah continues to shine. OWN seems to be finding its footing with a stream of powerful programming. Interviews with leaders of the self-help movement such as Wayne Dyer and Marianne Williamson are must-see TV for anyone who seeks to better themselves.
All we have to say is, you go, Oprah!
So what do you think? Are you looking forward to "The Butler"?
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- Oprah Winfrey