Nelsan Ellis to Play Martin Luther King in ‘The Butler’

Nelsan Ellis


Nelsan Ellis  has been added to the ever-growing cast of Lee Daniels‘ new film, The Butler.

Currently in production, the period piece follows the real-life story of an African-American man who served as a butler in the White House for over thirty years. From this unique vantage point, The Butler traces the dramatic changes that swept American society, from the civil rights movement to Vietnam and beyond, and how those changes affected his life and family.

Ellis will play legendary civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. The actor joins a star-studded cast that includes Forest Whitaker in the title role, Oprah Winfrey as his wife, Lenny Kravitz, Cuba Gooding Jr, Terrence Howard and David Oyelowo.

Other additions to this all-star cast include John Cusack as President Richard M. Nixon, Alan Rickman as President Ronald Reagan, Jane Fonda as First Lady Nancy Reagan with Mariah Carey, YaYa DaCosta, Colman Domingo, Jesse Williams, and Elijah Kelley cast in minor roles.

Ellis last appeared as Henry the Waiter in 2011’s The Help. He can be seen next alongside Phylicia Rashad in Gods Behaving Badly. He currently stars as Lafayette on HBO’s “True Blood.”


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