Jane Fonda stars as Nancy Reagan: Oprah shares photo from 'The Butler'
Thanks to Oprah Winfrey, here is your sneak peek look at Alan Rickman of "Harry Potter" fame as President Ronald Reagan and Jane Fonda as First Lady Nancy Reagan in the new film "The Butler."
Winfrey, who also stars in the movie, recently posted an Instagram photo of herself wearing a glitzy 1980s-style outfit alongside the two actors and director Lee Daniels. In "The Butler," which is inspired by a 2008 Washington Post article about a White House butler named Eugene Allen, who worked during eight presidential administrations and died in 2010.
In the film, Oscar winner Forest Whitaker, 51, plays Cecil Gaines, who serves six presidents. Winfrey, who is making her live-action, big screen return since she starred in the 1998 film "Beloved," plays his wife, Gloria.
Reagan, a Republican and former actor, served as president for two terms, between 1981 and 1989. He devoted his presidency to attempting to bring down the Soviet Union and Eastern European communism. The Cold War ended two years later. Reagan died in 2004 after battling Alzheimer's disease.
Nancy, also a former actress, was his second wife. They married in 1952 and had two children, daughter Patti and son Ron. Nancy, now 91, currently lives in the Los Angeles area.
She had first met Reagan in the late 1940s, when he served as the president of the Screen Actors Guild. She had contacted Reagan, whose political views were becoming more conservative and anti-communist, to inquire about the presence of her name, Nancy Davis, on a Hollywood "blacklist" of entertainers and writers who were suspected communist sympathisers. The name, which belonged to another woman, was removed.
Fonda, who rose to fame as a sex symbol in the late 1960s and released a slew of workout videos in the 1980s, is known for her liberal political views. In 1972, during the Cold War, Fonda made what became a controversial visit to communist state North Vietnam, earning her the nickname "Hanoi Jane."
She later stirred more anger when photos showed her sitting atop a Viet Cong anti-aircraft gun. The 74-year-old actress has since said she regrets posing for them. She also said in June that she was never a hippie.
Fonda was most recently seen playing a TV executive in Aaron Sorkin's HBO series "The Newsroom," which is about a group of journalists who strive to produce newscasts that showcase "real" issues, rather than popular, often sensationalized topics covered elsewhere, while stirring debate. Fonda also starred in the film "Peace, Love and Understanding," which was released in June.
Rickman, a 66-year-old British actor, played smarmy Potions teacher and wizard Severus Snape in the "Harry Potter" film series between 2001 and 2011. He also portrayed the villain Hans Gruber in "Die Hard" in 1988 and the evil sheriff of Nottingham in the 1991 movie "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves." Rickman has showcased an American accent on screen before, such as in the films "Judah Kiss" and "Dark Harbor."
"The Butler began filming in New Orleans in August and is set to hit theaters in 2013. The movie also stars John Cusack as President Richard Nixon, James Marsden as President John F. Kennedy, Minka Kelly as his wife Jackie, Robin Williams as President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Liev Schreiber as President Lyndon B. Johnson, "True Blood" star Nelsan Ellis as Martin Luther King Jr.
Other cast members include Vanessa Redgrave, Terrence Howard, John Cusack and Robin Williams, who is set to play President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who served as the U.S. Leader between 1953 and 1961.
Winfrey, 58, also posted an Instagram photo of herself in costume with another "Butler" co-star, Lenny Kravitz, saying: "Lenny Kravitz and me (both aged) getting ready for our 80's White House scene."
The 48-year-old rock singer plays another White House service employee named James Holloway. Kravitz previously starred in Daniels' Oscar-nominated film "Precious" as well as in "The Hunger Games."
Fonda posted on her WhoSay page her own photo from "The Butler" set, showing her dressed as Nancy and standing alongside Kravitz in his costume.