Nancy Reagan approves of Jane Fonda's casting in The Butler

Nancy Reagan has given her seal of approval to Jane Fonda as the actress prepares to portray the former U.S. First Lady in upcoming movie The Butler.

The Oscar-winning star is due to begin shooting her role as Ronald Reagan's wife in director Lee Daniels' drama, which centres around Eugene Allen, the longtime White House employee who served under eight American presidents.

Fonda, who is jetting to New Orleans, Louisiana to shoot the production, has taken to her blog to tell of her pride after learning Nancy was happy with the casting.

She writes, "I'm excited about this. I feel very ready to take her on... I know that she (Nancy) is pleased that I am playing her. I know this because a friend of mine, writer Annette Tapert, was at a party given for her... birthday. I asked Annette to tell Ms Reagan I was honoured to be playing her. And, because I have a scene walking down a White House corridor with then Secretary of State, James Baker, I wanted to know what she used to call him (Jim) and would she have linked her arm in his (no).

"I'm glad that in the brief time I have to play her, the script allows us to see how involved she was in all matters surrounding her husband... almost like a chief of staff. She took a lot of flack (sic) for the china she purchased for White House affairs, etc, but she was no fluff piece."

Filming on The Butler has been suspended in New Orleans this week as Tropical Storm Isaac looms over the northern Gulf Coast.