Fantasia Thanks Whoopi Goldberg and Says Filming ‘The Color Purple’ Musical Was Healing Experience for Cast


October 20, 2023

Fantasia Barrino is taking some time to reflect on the contributions of Whoopi Goldberg to the legacy of the timeless film “The Color Purple.”

The upcoming movie musical remake of “The Color Purple” film will be released in theaters on December 25. And in an Essence cover story, the cast of the film reflected on how much the new movie means to them.

Essence Magazine

The interview featured Fantasia Barrino, who plays Celie, Taraji P. Henson , who plays Shug Avery, H.E.R, who will appear as Mary “Squeak” Agnes, Danielle Brooks, who plays the role of Sophia, and Oprah Winfrey, who is a producer for the new adaption.

The film remake and the 1985 original movie are based on the 1983 Pulitzer prize-winning Alice Walker book of the same name. Winfrey was cast as Sophia in the 1985 version of the film.


In the Essence interview, Winfrey asked the cast members what they would say to the originators of their roles in the movie.

Fantasia took the moment to highlight the work of Whoopi Goldberg, who played Celie in the 1985 film.

“I would say thank you, Ms. Whoopi Goldberg, for not being afraid to play Celie. For being honest. Thank you for paving the way for girls like myself,” Fantasia said.


Henson shared her message to actress Margaret Avery, who played Shug Avery in the original. And H.E.R. gave her praise to Rae Dawn Chong, who was the original Squeak. Brooks also got emotional as she took a moment to thank Winfrey — who originated the film role of Sophia.

“I just want to thank you, Ms. Oprah, for surrendering to God and his plan for your life. You have shown me how to do that. Thank you for laying the blueprint for Sofia—because I know that she’s changed your life, and I can feel that mine is about to shift, too,” Brooks said. “Thank you for leaving space for me but also being there, to hold my hand and answer that phone call when I needed you. You have been such a light, such a beautiful soul.”

Elsewhere in the chat, Barrrino also revealed how filming the movie musical was a moment of healing for herself and the rest of her cast members.

“Most of the time, when actors see a film for the first time, they’re only looking at themselves. But if you see the film for the first time and you get lost in it, then everybody else will too. Fantasia, you said you lost yourself,” said Winfrey.

Fantasia then responded, “But I came out healed. I’m glad that I did it. I am free from some things that I was holding on to.”

“I think that this is a movie that people will celebrate with their families,” Winfrey added. “But I think women in particular will be healed from this movie and its portrayal of sisterhood.”


Fantasia then asked her castmates, “Do you feel like we were healed?”

And Brooks then opened up on how she felt the sisterhood among the cast members helped them support each other in a major way.

“Absolutely. And we also know where to go when we are still feeling broken,” Brooks replied to Fantasia’s question. “I was having a really rough week not too long ago, and I went to the park—something told me to turn on The Color Purple tracks. And I started listening to “I’m Here.” I needed those words. This music is timeless—you can go back to it and hear Black women’s voices tell you that you are here, you are beautiful, you are enough.”

Photo by Matt Baron /BEI / Shutterstock


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8 months ago

Wow! How amazing! Hope I get the opportunity to see this!


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