The “Lee Daniels' The Butler” Interview
with Kam Williams
Lee Daniels is best known for directing and producing the Academy Award-winning film Precious which was nominated for a half-dozen Oscars in 2010, including histwo for Best Picture and Best Director. Mo’Nique won for Best Supporting Actress while scriptwriter Geoffrey Fletcher landed another for Best Adapted Screenplay.
Lee’s production company, Lee Daniels Entertainment, made its feature film debut in 2001 with Monster’s Ball, the dysfunctional family drama for which Halle Berry would earn her historic, Best Actress Oscar. Last year, he wrote, produced and directed The Paperboy, an adaptation of the Pete Dexter novel starring Matthew McConaughey, Zac Efron, John Cusack, and Nicole Kidman.
Here, he talks about his new picture, The Butler, a civil rights epic recounting the real-life story of an African-American who served in the White House at the pleasure of eight presidents, from 1952 to 1986.
Kam Williams: Hey Lee, what a phenomenal film!
Lee Daniels: Did you like it?
KW: I loved it!
LD: Thanks, Kam.
KW: I was born in the Fifties so all of the ground you cover in terms of the father-son relationship and the Civil Rights Movement resonated with me and touched me very deeply.
LD: That makes me feel good. Thank you very much.
KW: So, what inspired you to make the movie?
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