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Minka Kelly to play Jackie Kennedy in "The Butler"

Actress Minka Kelly on May 22, 2012,, left, and Jacqueline Kennedy in 1961. Getty/AP

(CBS News) Minka Kelly has been tapped to play Jacqueline Kennedy.

Director Lee Daniels ("Precious") chose the "Friday Night Lights" star to play the former first lady in "The Butler," IndieWire reports.

Pictures: Minka Kelly

The film stars Forrest Whitaker as Eugene Allen, the late White House butler who served eight presidents between 1952 and 1986.

According to IndieWire, the film also stars Oprah Winfrey as Allen's wife; David Oyelowo as his son; Matthew McConaughey as John F. Kennedy; Alan Rickman and Jane Fonda as Ronald and Nancy Reagan; John Cusack as Richard Nixon; and Lenny Kravitz, Cuba Gooding Jr. and Terrence Howard in as-yet-undisclosed roles.

Daniels, who is at the Cannes Film Festival promoting his film "The Paperboy," told ScreenDaily he found an emotional connection with the story.

"I connected with it because it is ultimately a father-son story with a civil rights backdrop. In my lifetime there were separate water fountains, swimming pools and toilets for blacks. People forget that. This is such an exciting journey for me."

Production on "The Butler" will reportedly start July 16.

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