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Oprah Winfrey turned down role in 'The Paperboy,' director Lee Daniels said Macy Gray taking over was 'the right choice after all'

By Gina DiFalco,

As Oprah Winfrey transitioned the direction that her career has taken in the past few years, she left her beloved The Oprah Winfrey Show and moved on to other projects within her network OWN as well as her production company Harpo.

But the longtime television personality has also taken up acting again, as she appeared in the Oscar-nominated Precious and she will be part of an all-star cast in the upcoming The Butler.

But it’s now being revealed that Winfrey turned down another coveted role, and that is a part is Lee Daniels’ The Paperboy, which stars actors such as Zac Efron, Nicole Kidman and Matthew McConaughey.

The Huffington Post reports that Daniels revealed at the New York Film Festival premiere of the film, “I offered it to Oprah, since she just produced 'Precious,' and she said, 'Absolutely not.'”

The role then went to singer Macy Gray, who Daniels told The Hollywood Reporter was “the right choice after all.”

There’s a sign that her character, Anita, masturbates and Daniels explained, “In hindsight, I can’t imagine Oprah on the floor trying to masturbate. Everybody has [their] own interpretation. She would have played it very stoic, you know, something very different. I think Macy Gray was the right choice after all.”

Daniels said the role of Anita “evolved” after Gray was cast, and the Grammy-winner even explained “I had four lines… he sent me another rewrite, and my part was a lot bigger.”

 
 

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