Report: Lee Daniels Wants Minka Kelly to Play Jackie Kennedy in 'The Butler'

Minka Kelly

Words are, the 'Paperboy' director has chosen the 'Friday Night Lights' actress to portray the former America's First Lady, a part which was previously rumored to be offered to Mila Kunis.
While it was previously rumored that Mila Kunis was eyed to play Jackie Kennedy in "The Butler", it is now reported that Minka Kelly is courted to tackle the part. It was Screen Daily which broke the news, claiming that it has spoken with director Lee Daniels about the casting rumor during a press junket of "The Paperboy" at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival.

The movie site stated that Daniels has personally chosen the "Friday Night Lights" star to portray the former America's First Lady in his next prestigious project. It is, however, unclear whether or not the actress has sealed a deal to join the star-studded drama.

Based on Wil Haygood's Washington Post article, "A Butler Well Served by This Election", the biopic centers on the life of Eugene Allen, who started his career in the White House as a "pantry man" in 1952. At that time, black people weren't allowed to use public restrooms in his native Virginia.

Allen ended up serving eight presidents throughout his career and had a unique front row seat as political and racial history was made, from the Vietnam War and the civil rights movement to the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr., Robert Kennedy Jr. and President John F. Kennedy.

Of the true story movie, Daniel said, "I connected with it because it is ultimately a father son story with a civil rights backdrop." He added, "In my lifetime there were separate water fountains, pools and toilets for blacks. People forget that. This is such an exciting journey for me."

The film has a cast ensemble that includes the likes of Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey, Jane Fonda, John Cusack and David Oyelowo. Such actors as Liam Neeson, Matthew McConaughey, Alan Rickman, Terrence Howard and Cuba Gooding Jr. have reportedly been in talks to join the pic.

Daniels reportedly will begin filming "The Butler" on July 16. Serving as the screenwriter is Danny Strong.

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