Role model for humanity Oprah Winfrey is a one-stop shop of success stories. To follow her brilliant career these past three decades has been nothing short of inspirational. And with the premiere of her new film The Butler, she shows no signs of slowing down.
Based on a true story, The Butler is a sprawling account of an African-American butler who worked at the White House under eight American presidencies.
As for Oprah, it marks the media mogul’s first major movie role in 15 years—her last was Sethe in Beloved in 1998—and it’s a welcome return.
How’d it feel to get back on the silver screen?
“It was really good!” Oprah told Hollyscoop. “Combined with all the other stuff I had to do, it was exhausting! It was exhausting.”
Part of that exhaustion is her personal connection to the film. In many ways she felt a responsibility to share the film's story.
“What motivated me to do it was that I wanted the story to be offered just the way it is,” Oprah explained. “Sort of as a gift and offer to the world, for this period of time that so many people don’t even know about, that happened in our history.”
“Also, because it’s through the eyes of this beautiful family, this connected, loving, nurturing African-American family, and so often people don’t see us in those kinds of roles.”
Ultimately, it’s a film that everyone can relate to.
“What I want people to take away from it is the spirit of who we are as African-Americans,” Oprah said of the historical drama, “but also as a nation. Look at the beginning of this movie, then what happens at the end of this movie. Only in America could that happen! Only in America.”
As for the current Commander-in-Chief?
“I think [Obama] will appreciate it!” Oprah exclaimed. “I don’t know if he’s seen it, but what’s not to appreciate? What’s not to appreciate! Yes, we can.”
The Butler opens in theaters this Friday, August 16.