Whitaker indeed took over the fictionalized role of White House butler Cecil Gaines opposite Winfrey as his wife Gloria. Daniels ended up casting Howard in a smaller part.
“Lee said, ‘I really want you in this film, and the only character I have left is this little small character named Howard that’s having an affair with Oprah, but I don’t want to offend you offering [a smaller role] to you,’” Howard recalled of his conversation with Daniels.
And then there was this extra benefit that Mr. Howard had to confess to.
“Oprah and I had such chemistry. To be able to make out with Oprah and to have love scenes with her and those tig ol’ bitties … She’s such a lovely, voluptuous woman … That was wonderful.”