“I think it’s an important film for America. I think it’s a love story for African-American families. I think that the history lesson for our country is that: look at where we’ve come and look at where we have to go,” she told “Entertainment Tonight.”
In the film, Oprah plays the wife of a Black man who serves in the White House for decades, spanning a number of presidencies.
Academy Award-winner, Forest Whitaker, is Oprah’s on-screen spouse and the main character in the film, which is based on the story of a real-life White House butler.
“It’s probably one of the most difficult roles I’ve ever played…because of the history I had to embody behind it,” said Forest who trained with a butler in preparation for the part.
For Oprah, who received critical acclaim for her performance in the classic film, The Color Purple, The Butler was also a way for her to ease back into acting.
“It was easy to dip my toe in the water because it’s not a major role, but it was significant enough that I could develop it and see if I could pick up that acting instrument again,” she said.
Check out scenes from The Butler, starring Oprah, Forest, Lenny Kravitz, Mariah Carey, Nelsan Ellis, Terrence Howard, Cuba Gooding, Jr. and more.