Alan Rickman as Ronald Reagan, Jane Fonda as Nancy Reagan: The Butler
Alan Rickman as Ronald Reagan, a Hollywood actor and former Republican California governor who played president of the United States in the ’80s; Jane Fonda as Nancy Reagan (aka Nancy Davis), a minor actress and Reagan’s wife since the late ’50s; Oprah Winfrey as Oprah Winfrey, more powerful and influential than all the Reagans combined; and Lee Daniels as the director of The Butler.
A couple of days ago, Oprah Winfrey, who plays the character Gloria Gaines in The Butler, tweeted the picture above. Alan Rickman has the Ronald Reagan hair and squint, while Jane Fonda has the Nancy Reagan hair and tacky clothes. But the similarities end there. A bad sign? Well, not really. Michelle Williams didn’t exactly look like Marilyn Monroe in My Week with Marilyn, but her performance was widely admired all the same.
And we’ll eventually find out how Alan Rickman’s Ronald Reagan compares to Michael Douglas’ Reagan in the announced Reykjavik. It’s unclear who will play Nancy Reagan in that movie — or even if there’ll be a Nancy accompanying her husband to Iceland.
Alan Rickman, of course, is best known for playing Professor Severus Snape in the Harry Potter movies. As for Jane Fonda, she has been a star for over five decades. Along the way, Fonda has picked up two Best Actress Academy Awards: for her sex worker in Alan J. Pakula’s Klute (1971) and for her adulterous Vietnam vet’s wife in Hal Ashby’s Coming Home (1978).
The Butler: A parade of U.S. presidents
In addition to Alan Rickman’s Ronald Reagan, The Butler, which is inspired by the life and times of a real-life White House butler, will offer the following actors playing U.S. presidents of various political persuasions: Robin Williams as Dwight Eisenhower, James Marsden as John F. Kennedy, Liev Schreiber as Lyndon B. Johnson, and John Cusack as Richard Nixon. Forest Whitaker, an Oscar winner for playing Uganda ruler Idi Amin Dada in The Last King of Scotland, will incarnate The Butler’s title character.
The Butler cast
Also in The Butler’s cast: Alex Pettyfer, Minka Kelly (as Jacqueline Kennedy), Vanessa Redgrave, Melissa Leo (as Mamie Eisenhower), Jesse Williams, Lenny Kravitz, Mariah Carey, Cuba Gooding Jr, Terrence Howard, David Oyelowo, and Nelsan Ellis (as Martin Luther King Jr).
Written by Lee Daniels and Danny Strong from Wil Haygood’s piece "A Butler Well Served by This Election," The Butler is expected to come out some time in 2013.