Cuba Gooding, Jr

Cuba Gooding, Jr

Cuba Gooding, Jr has heaped praise on The Butler director Lee Daniels for opting to cast Forest Whitaker instead of him in the lead role - because his fellow Oscar winner and Oprah Winfrey make a better husband and wife in the film.

The Jerry Maguire star initially tested for Whitaker's title character, Cecil Gaines, but, after seeing the actor and Winfrey, together he understood why Daniels chose The Last King of Scotland star instead.

He says, "So when he (Daniels) sent me the Butler script, it was like six years ago... I read it and I was like, 'This is the most amazing tale I've read in a long time' and I'm just glad that its being realized now.

"When Oprah Winfrey got involved with it, that's when he came back and said, 'I need you to screen test with her along with Forest Whitaker and Terrence Howard,' and after the screen test he said, 'I'm casting Forest because it works', and he was right.

"I mean, to me, the relationship it's so special and you don't see African Americans in this light, the family relationship in this light in cinema very often, and I think it was such a powerful statement to make and I get it now, I understand relationships".