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Oprah Winfrey and Taraji P. Henson discuss ‘full circle’ moments for ‘The Color Purple’ at CinemaCon

On Tuesday, Oprah Winfrey appeared at CinemaCon for the first time in Las Vegas to present the musical reboot The Color Purple, based on the novel of the same name by Alice Walker.

Winfrey, who starred in the 1985 film alongside Whoopi Goldberg is a producer of the new film, which is a cinematic rendering of the 2005 Tony Award-winning musical. Her breakout performance as Sofia netted her and Goldberg an Oscar nomination as well as a lifetime of people quoting her character’s famous lines.

She appeared on stage with the film’s director Blitz Bazawule, and talked about how her involvement in the new Color Purple is a “full-circle moment” for her, after having been “discovered” as an actress when she was cast in the original movie after a fateful phone call with Quincy Jones.

Winfrey said the film “was the biggest and most important thing that happened to me…. now we’re doing a brand new version that could only come because of the most perfect director…it still holds great personal meaning.”

At the event, Bazawule and Winfrey then presented three of the film’s stars- Taraji P. Henson as Shug Avery, Danielle Brooks as Winfrey’s previous character Sophia, and American Idol champion Fantasia Barrino as protagonist Celie.

Henson echoed Winfrey’s sentiment about the new movie being “full circle” for her as well, since the Walker novel and film featuring Winfrey had a huge impact on her past. Henson continued that in college she used the monologues from the movie in acting classes.

It is said that the musical will follow the same story as the movie, but Celie and Shug romance will be given time to blossom. The character Mister will have a redemption arc and Celie will be made into a more developed character. Plus, we can expect big things from Fantasia singing Celie’s signature song, “I’m Here.”

The Color Purple is expected to be in theaters on Christmas Day.


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