This month, Oprah returns to the big screen in what many consider her first serious acting role since the 1998 adaptation of Toni Morrison's Beloved. In The Butler, Lee Daniels's follow-up to The Paperboy, Winfrey co-stars as the wife of a real-life White House butler (played by Forest Whitaker)-on whom the film centers-who served eight presidents. Lest anyone assume that Winfrey's transition from media mogul and all-around boss-person to supporting actress in an ensemble drama would be difficult, both Daniels and Winfrey were on hand at a New York City screening last night to assure that it actually . . . was.
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As it turns out, Winfrey's most difficult trait on set was also her most valuable trait as a long-running talk show host-her insatiable need for answers. Per Vulture's excellent transcription of the post-screening discussion, which was moderated by Oprah B.F.F. Gayle King: