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Oprah Winfrey: I can't cry on cue

Oprah Winfrey has revealed she drew upon her past heartbreak to be able to cry in The Butler.

The US chat show host makes her return to the big screen in Lee Daniels' The Butler, as the wife of Forest Whitaker's character Cecil Gaines. It is her first big screen role in 15 years, following her previous role in Steven Spielberg's The Colour Purple in 1985.

"When I was in The Colour Purple years ago, Steven Spielberg had asked me in a scene to cry and I couldn't cry and then I went home and cried all night because I couldn't cry," she said on ITV's Loose Women.

Oprah admitted that thinking about an ex-boyfriend got the tears flowing.

"The acting coach sat down and we talked about an old boyfriend for 20 minutes and I was literally balling on the sofa," she recalled.

"I told her about the time when I was 23 and I drove by his house, and he told me he'd broken up with his girlfriend and he hadn't."

The 59-year-old star also revealed she spoke to Forest's wife Keisha, before they started filming.

"I wanted to have real chemistry [in the film]... I would sort of ease my way over and go behind him and rub his shoulders and just stand there and rub his shoulders," she said.

"Sometimes sitting on set I would purposely go and sit next to him, I would put my hand on his knee and start rubbing his knee. I called his wife first and said, 'You know, I'm trying to build a relationship' and it actually worked."

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