It’s been more than a decade since Kosciusko native Oprah Winfrey worked as an actress in a major motion picture, but she’s back as the wife of “The Butler” in a film about an African-American (actor Forest Whitaker) who witnesses notable events of the 20th century while working for years as a butler in the White House.
The story was inspired by a Washington Post article about an African-American man who served as a butler to eight presidents in the White House for more than 30 years.
IMDB.com reports that the “film traces the dramatic changes that swept American society, from the civil rights movement to Vietnam and beyond, and how those changes affected this man’s life and family.”
Oprah isn’t the only Mississippian in this all-star cast. Keep a look out for rapper David Banner, of Jackson, who plays “Earl Gaines” in the film, and Mississippi-based actress Tarra Riggs has a role as “Sophie Wilson.”
According to IMDB.com, Riggs landed her first film role as “Marlee” in “Ballast,” a movie shot in Mississippi, specifically parts of Canton. It is about a single mother and her son who struggle to exist in a small Mississippi Delta town.
Previews for “The Butler” also show that his son becomes a freedom rider, so there’s a good chance Mississippi may be depicted in the film in some way, considering there’s also another character called “Mississippi Prison Guard” in the cast.
“The Butler” also stars notable actors and celebrities, including Liev Schreiber, James Marsden, John Cusack, Robin Williams, Minka Kelly, Forest Whitaker, Jane Fonda, Terrance Howard, Vanessa Redgrave, Cuba Gooding Jr., Lenny Kravitz and Mariah Carey.
It is directed by Lee Daniels, who received two Oscar nominations for his film “Precious.” He also directed “The Paperboy.” “The Butler” was filmed in Louisiana and opens in theaters Aug. 16. Click here to learn more about the film.