Hillary or Oprah 2016 Discussed on ‘The Butler’ Red Carpet

At the Aug. 5 Gotham premiere of Lee Daniels‘ The Butler” at the Ziegfeld, the cast and filmmakers took a trip down the red carpet and back to high school history class to discuss – if given the chance – which POTUS they would want to meet and why.

“Lincoln, hands down,” said David Oyelowo without hesitation. “To be in the middle of a civil war — when your own country is basically fighting itself, I can’t imagine how difficult that would have been.”

Others picked politicians based on personality and policy.

“I think I would love to meet LBJ,” said “The Butler’s” scribe, Danny Strong. “He was so charismatic, a little bit off, had this huge heart and an iron will, and a larger than life personality.”

Actor Jesse Williams agreed, adding, “LBJ would be really interesting because of the amount of legislation that he passed in a very difficult time, with a lot of very polarizing figures in the political arena and large issues around civil rights and social justice.”

Lyndon B. Johnson wasn’t the only popular acronym on the red carpet.

“I would want to meet John F. Kennedy because I think what he did with American policies was phenomenal — and I think he was a sharp, snappy dresser,” said Colman Domingo, with a laugh.

Actress Yaya Alafia agreed. “If I were to just to meet and greet and mingle, I would choose JFK,” she said. However, if she had a chance to sway a past head of state, she said she would pick Reagan or Nixon.

Producer Pam Williams would also want to meet Tricky Dick – just not the actual former president, but the one from the film: “If I could meet John Cusack’s Nixon on the couch when he and Cecil [Forest Whitaker] are talking,” she said, referring to a scene in the film about the Watergate scandal. “I’d love to meet him in that moment and just ask what was going through his head.”

Harvey Weinstein’s wife, Marchesa designer Georgina Chapman, said she couldn’t choose just one.  However, she also couldn’t resist the urge the name drop and declared, “Barack Obama is amazing and I’m thrilled to have met him.”

Domingo agreed. “I’m glad that I’m alive to see Obama elected as president — and I look forward to being around when Hillary Clinton is elected president,” he added, cheekily. “It’s about time we had a woman in the White House, don’t you think?”

What about co-star Oprah Winfrey? “I think she’s the queen of the universe,” said Nelsan Ellis.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Bosnia's Canton Sarajevo to Launch Film

    Bosnia's Canton Sarajevo to Launch Film and TV Rebate Incentive

    Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Canton of Sarajevo is introducing a new €1 million ($1.1 million) film funding initiative next year aimed at promoting domestic and international film and television production in the region. The incentive is the first of its kind in the country. Government representatives of Sarajevo Canton, including Prime Minister Edin Forto and culture [...]

  • Antlers Trailer

    Guillermo Del Toro's 'Antlers' Starring Keri Russell Drops Chilling First Trailer

    Events take a dark turn for a small town school teacher, played by “The Americans'” Keri Russell, in the first teaser trailer for horror movie “Antlers,” produced by Guillermo del Toro. The footage, unveiled Tuesday, centers on a young boy (Jeremy T. Thomas) reading from a frightening short story he’s written as Russell listens. The [...]

  • Why Hollywood Should Tone Down Violence

    Why It's Time for Hollywood to Reconsider the Amount of Violence on Screen (Column)

    To put it mildly, we live in scary, intolerant, violent times. Since a lone gunman walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14, 2012, and killed 20 children, six adults and himself, there have been at least 2,187 mass shootings across America, resulting in the deaths of some 2,461 people and wounding more than [...]

  • James Bond Spectre

    James Bond Movie Title Revealed

    The latest James Bond adventure finally has a title. The 25th entry in the action spy series will be named “No Time to Die.” In the upcoming movie, Bond (Daniel Craig) has left active service and is enjoying a tranquil life in Jamaica. His peace is short-lived when his old friend Felix Leiter from the CIA [...]

  • IFC Midnight Buys Brighton Sharbino Survival

    IFC Midnight Buys Survival Thriller 'Radioflash' (EXCLUSIVE)

    IFC Midnight has acquired U.S. rights to “Radioflash,” a survival thriller starring Dominic Monaghan and Brighton Sharbino, Variety has learned. The company will release the movie on Nov. 15. The film imagines a dystopian future, one in which an electric-magnetic pulse strikes America, knocking out all the power and pushing the country into the Dark [...]

  • Lee-Daniels-headshot

    Lee Daniels Entertainment Announces Diverse Creative Workshop

    Lee Daniels Entertainment and the online entertainment network Represent by OMV have launched a diversity-focused creative workshop to promote a diverse group of new writers. The workshop will be held from Sept. 25-28 in Los Angeles, with travel provided by American Airlines. Industry professionals will mentor aspiring creatives from underrepresented communities with workshops, meetings with [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content