Bush 41 to Wife on ‘The Butler’: ‘Is That Oprah, Honey?’

By Suzan Clarke

Aug 13, 2013 8:22am

“The Butler,” a film that tells the story of a White House butler during the Civil Rights era and beyond, has been getting many positive reviews, and at least one former president is apparently also a fan.

In an interview with “Good Morning America” co-anchor Robin Roberts, Lee Daniels, the film’s director, recalled a screening of the film that was attended by former President George H.W. Bush and his wife, Barbara.

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The Bushes appeared excited to see talk show icon Oprah Winfrey, who plays Gloria, the wife of White House butler Cecil Gaines, played by Forest Whitaker.

“It was fantastic,” Daniels said. “I was the only black person in the room. Six-hundred white people as far as the eye can see. It was crazy, and I’m sitting there I’m next to Barbara and there’s George, President Bush. And so President Bush says ‘is that Oprah? Is that Oprah, honey?’ And Mrs. Bush says ‘Lee, is that Oprah? Is that Oprah!?’”

His reply? ‘Yes Mrs. Bush, it’s Oprah.’

And then she added: ‘It’s Oprah, honey. It’s Oprah,” Daniels said.

Daniels told Roberts that it was “one of those moments that I’ll never forget.”

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In addition to Whitaker and Winfrey, the film features actors Vanessa Redgrave, John Cusack, Terrence Howard, Mariah Carey and Robin Williams, among others.

Daniels, who directed the hit movie “Precious,” said it was an honor to work with Whitaker and the other actors in the film.

He said his film is about young people who were heroes willing to die for what they believed.

“It’s not just a movie, it’s a movement,” he said.

“The Butler” opens in theaters on August 16.

 

 

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