‘The Butler’ Screening Draws Star Studded Crowd in Los Angeles

Taryn Ryder

With the Toronto Film Festival less than a month away, awards season pre-game was in full swing at the downtown Los Angeles premiere of "Lee Daniels' The Butler" on Monday.

Cast members Oprah Winfrey, Forest Whitaker, Minka Kelly, James Marsden, Alex Pettyfer, Jane Fonda, Cuba Gooding Jr., and director Lee Daniels were all in attendance at the screening sponsored by Fiji. Other special guests included Russell Simmons along with newlyweds Jimmy Kimmel and Molly McNearney.

Harvey Weinstein introduced the movie shortly after 8 p.m. when he playfully began by thanking Warner Bros. and the MPAA for "the best title fight" he'd seen in some time (if you need a refresher, the studio war was eventually settled when the Weinstein Co. agreed change the title of their film "The Butler" to "Lee Daniels' The Butler").

As Oprah — who looked gorgeous in a florescent dress — took her seat inside the venue, she laughed as Weinstein joked to the crowd how the media mogul said she was going to "kill him" earlier for making her do 52 press interviews in one day.

Clearly, everyone was in good spirits as the festivities began!

Following the two-hour film, the cast and special guests joined Daniels in the front row to thank everyone involved. The audience gave a standing ovation as credits rolled.

The celebration wasn't over as the after-party continued at the WP24 restaurant at the JW Marriott Hotel at L.A. Live.

At the bash, Minka was joined by boyfriend Chris Evans and spent quality time chatting it up with Marsden. Meanwhile, Oprah (with tons of security, of course) held court alongside Whitaker and Gooding before the cast all rendezvoused for a few additional photo ops.

Guests enjoyed shrimp toast, chicken dumplings, and spring rolls while sipping on Bud Light and Red Bull in champagne.

"Lee Daniels' The Butler" hits theaters this Friday.

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