Jane Fonda is set to play Nancy Reagan in Lee Daniels' upcoming film, "The Butler."
"I wish it was more than a cameo," Fonda wrote on her personal blog last year. "I know that she is pleased that I am playing her." Fonda cited a mutual friend, writer Annette Tapert, who spoke to Reagan on Fonda's behalf. "I asked Annette to tell Ms. Reagan I was honored to be playing her."
Not everyone is pleased, however, that Fonda is playing Reagan. "The moviemakers are free to choose, but it seems like it was their way of giving people like me the middle finger," Larry Reyes, a "Navy veteran and founder of the 'Boycott Hanoi Jane Playing Nancy Reagan' page," told THR. The page's title comes from a reference to Fonda's visit to Vietnam in July of 1972.
Fonda's response to the controversy? "Get a life," she told THR in a statement. "If he creates hoopla, it will cause more people to see the movie." About that: "Boycott Hanoi Jane" only has 430 likes on Facebook at the time of this post.
Fortunately, it's not likely that "The Butler" will need Reyes' help to curry media attention. The film features a star-studded roster of talent, from Fonda and Alan Rickman as Nancy and Ronald Reagan, to Oprah Winfrey and Forest Whitaker, playing Helene and Eugene Allen. Eugene was a butler at the White House through eight presidential administrations, from Dwight D. Eisenhower through the Reagans.
For more on Fonda, head over to THR.