Barbara Bush cried during a screening of the "The Butler" for the former first lady and former President George Bush, the film director said.
“Barbara Bush loved [my movie] 'Precious,' shockingly, and I couldn’t believe it,” Daniels said during a roundtable discussion at the National Association of Black Journalists’ annual convention, Politico
“I thought it was a set up or something. She sent me this lovely, really powerful email … and she said please come up and show the Butler to us in Maine.”
The movie tells the story of Cecil Gaines, who served eight presidents as a White House butler from 1952 to 1986, and how he saw the Civil Rights movement from inside the walls at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Daniels said he sat next to the Bushes as they watched the moving, Politico reported.
“And Barbara, she was crying,” Daniels said. “And George would say ‘is that Oprah? Honey, is that Oprah?’ and Mrs. Bush would say, ‘is that Oprah?’ Yes, Mrs. Bush, it’s Oprah. ‘It’s Oprah, honey. It’s Oprah.”
Winfrey plays Gloria Gaines, Eugene’s wife, in the movie. The film, set against the backdrop of the Civil Rights Movement, includes some scenes of lynched men hanging in the streets of North Carolina, and detailed recreations of sit-ins at lunch counters and freedom rides, complete with burning crosses, Ku Klux Klan hoods and Molotov cocktails. The scenes had an impact on the Bushes, Daniels said.
“It was so powerful because they hung their heads – both of them hung their heads, he said. “And that was a gift for me knowing that they felt it..."
The movie opens Aug. 16.
President Obama is featured in the movie via news clips and audio.
"It was more powerful to not have Obama in it," Daniels told the Huffington Post. "But we did go back and forth."
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