Cuba Gooding Jr. weighs in on Oprah’s ‘Butler’ Oscar buzz

Cuba Gooding Jr. knows what it takes to win an Oscar Award. The 45-year-old actor took home the coveted trophy for best supporting actor in 1996 for his role in the dramatic sports comedy Jerry McGuire. Who can forget Gooding’s exuberant acceptance speech?

These days the 45-year-old Bronx, NY native can be seen starring alongside Lenny Kravitz, Forest Whitaker, Mariah Carey, Oprah Winfrey, Jane Fonda and Terrence Howard in Lee Daniels’ The Butler.

During an interview with theGrio, Gooding talked about Winfrey, and said she is making a serious statement as a real actress in The Butler. The Men of Honor star also says that he’s certain the 59-year-old media mogul deserves an Oscar nomination.

“I hope she is [nominated for an Oscar Award]. Oprah will be fine if she wins it or not,” Gooding said. “It’s a realization of something that we know she’s wanted to do for a very long time.”

“I think she can rest assured that she’s about to make a serious statement as a real actress no matter what Oscar comes her way or not.”

Click here to watch Oprah talk about her role as Gloria Gaines in ‘Lee Daniels’ The Butler’

Oprah has never won an Academy Award, but was nominated in the supporting actress slot for The Color Purple in 1985. The last time she was on the big screen was 15 years ago in Beloved, which was considered a flop by Hollywood standards.

Gooding said he never takes on a project anticipating award recognition for his work.

“I never thought I was going to win [an Oscar Award] and when I did, it changes your mindset. It should only always be about the work.”

Lee Daniels’ The Butler hits theaters nationwide Friday.

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