Eugene Allen, for whom the film The Butler is based, first job was at a resort in his native Virginia before gaining employment as a pantry worker at the White House. He not only worked under presidents, John F. Kennedy, Jimmy Carter, and Ronald Reagan but he also met equally famous figures, musician Duke Ellington and civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.; it was during the Reagan administration that Mr. Allen or “Gene”--as he was called by friends—was promoted to maître d' or head waiter.
Lee Daniels, director of films, Monsters Ball and Precious, team with writers Daniel Strong (Seinfeld, Sea Biscuit) and Wil Haygood (King of Cats: Life and Times of Adam Clayton Powell Jr.), to recount the myriad of changes Eugene Allen has seen since his birth in 1919 to his death at ninety. For your viewing pleasure they bring along with them a well-known cast too numerous to name.
Forest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland) portrays butler (Allen) Cecil Gaines, Oprah Winfrey is wife Gloria Gaines, Vanessa Redgrave is Annabeth Westfall, Liv Schreiber (X-Men Origins: Wolverine) is Lyndon B. Johnson, Yaya Alafia as Carol Hammie, Minka Kelly (Friday Night Lights) is first lady, Jacqueline Kennedy and Robin Williams as Dwight D. Eisenhower.
The Butler opens nationwide Friday, August 16, 2013.
The Weinstein Company