New movie musical “The Color Purple” premieres in the UK

Warner Brothers Pictures red carpet photocall of “The Color Purple” during CinemaCon 2023 at Caesars Palace in in Las Vegas, Nevada, on April 25, 2023.
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BRIDGET BENNETT/AFP

USA

Fantasia Barrino and other stars of “The Color Purple” gathered in London for the UK premiere of the new movie musical, reflecting on the pressure of living up to Steven Spielberg’s beloved 1985 film.

Barrino plays the central character of Celie, portrayed by Whoopi Goldberg in Spielberg’s movie, which earned 11 Oscar nominations. She says the two haven’t yet had a chance to talk in depth about the role and story.

“You know, I think that Whoopi is waiting on that moment, I’m going to do ‘The View’ and we did not speak yet. We did not have a conversation yet. I met her before and we kissed each other. That was a great moment,” she said. “But I kind of feel like we’re going to do The View next week and I feel like something magical is going to happen. And that’s the moment that I’m waiting on. I can’t wait to see her and see, because you got to understand, I can never come behind Whoopi and do anything. She laid the path and she laid it well. And I have questions I want to ask her. You know, what did you pull from? How did you go there? Because I watched it over and over as a kid, as a girl who was bullied, who was told she wasn’t pretty. I’ve watched that movie over and over and over again. So I got questions for her.”

Danielle Brooks plays Sofia, portrayed by Oprah Winfrey in the original. Winfrey is a producer of the new film.

“Yes, the magnitude of that pressure is kind of hard to speak about. I think it’s just now that it’s really starting to hit me because the way I approached it was like, you have a task to do,” Brooks said. “And what one thing – one piece of advice that she continued to tell me was ‘I come as one but stand as ten thousand.’ And I’ve always lived with that. And I felt like, okay, while I’m in this process, make sure that you are being that one for the 10,000 Sofies out there. But now that we’re on the other side of it and the film’s out, I definitely am like, Oh my gosh, I can’t believe I did that. I can’t believe, like the most iconic lines I said in front of her. It’s kind of crazy.”

The new movie, directed by Blitz Bazawule, hits U.S. theatres on Dec. 25.

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