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Sure Oprah may be receiving Oscar buzz for her performance in Lee Daniels’ The Butler, but according to the film’s director, the leading actress didn’t always deliver stellar takes.
In the latest issue of The Hollywood Reporter, Daniels says he wasn’t really impressed with Oprah’s acting chops in the first scene when the family sees Louis off to join the ongoing Civil Rights fight in the south.
Daniels told Oprah after her first take, “‘No! That sucks! What are you doin’? It’s not real! It’s fake!'” To that Oprah responded, “‘Huh?'” The director says it took Oprah a minute to come to terms with not being in charge. “But I think she almost got off on it.”
Despite their rocky start, Oprah quickly adapted to Daniels’ spontaneous directing style—which led to her phenomenal performance. “She became fragile, raw and vulnerable—her eyes are so seductive and hypnotic,” said Daniels.
It’s not yet clear if Daniel’s tough directing style will lead the cast all the way to an Oscar acceptance speech. The 2014 nominations are set to be announced on January 16, 2014. Fingers crossed.