Oprah Winfrey returned to acting after a long layoff, and her appearance in The Butler especially caused a stir based on comments from co-star Terrence Howard. The mogul has been recognized along with Forest Whitaker, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael B. Jordan by Essence and the stars grace the cover of the magazine’s Hollywood issue.
In the issue, the stars talk about their buzzed-about performances and some of the hurdles each faced in their emotionally charged roles. Winfrey plays the role of Gloria Gaines in The Butler, opposite Whitaker’s Cecil Gaines, the butler who is the central figure of the film. Winfrey, who hadn’t acted in 15 years, had to rely on an acting coach to get into the character.
“”I don’t think of myself as being sexy and I’m not even sure how one is sexy,” she admits. Her acting coach instructed her: “Every time Gloria walks, pretend that she has a tail. And when Gloria sits down, she doesn’t sit without making sure there’s room for her tail.”
Ejiofor, who is up for an Academy Award for his starring role in 12 Years A Slave, discussed the difficulties of shooting the film and the emotional toll it took on him and the cast.
The rising Michael B. Jordan rounds out the featured stars, and the New Jersey native has made big moves since his breakout role in the critically acclaimed Fruitvale Station.
Essence’s Hollywood issue hits stands February 10, and also features buzzing model and 12 Years A Slave actress Lupita Nyong’o.
Hit the jump to see the full cover.