Lee Daniels has directed critically acclaimed films that deal with difficult subject matter before, but he says working on The Butler was “the hardest thing he’s ever done.”
The film chronicles the life of a man who rose from the cotton fields of North Carolina to work in the White House, witnessing some of the most important moments in this nation’s history.
The movie’s main character, Cecil Gaines, is loosely based on the life of Eugene Allen, who worked at the White House for over three decades. Allen and his wife, Helene, were profiled byWashington Post writer Wil Haygood during the 2008 presidential election.
Daniels and Haygood sat down with Tell Me More host Michel Martin to talk about The Butler,and the man who inspired it all.