Fantasia Barrino announced on Thursday, Feb. 3, that she has been cast as the lead role in the upcoming musical remake of “The Color Purple.” This news came after Oprah Winfrey unveiled the entire cast during ABC News’s “Soul of a Nation” series.
“The Color Purple,” based on Alice Walker’s 1982 novel, follows the life of the character Celie, portrayed by Whoopi Goldberg, as she struggles to find her identity after encountering abuse from her father and other individuals within 30 years. The film premiered in 1985, and also starred Oprah Winfrey, Danny Glover and Margaret Avery.
The movie adaptation was later revived as a Broadway musical that first ran from 2005 to 2008, and again from 2015 to 2017. Barrino revealed the news by sharing a lengthy post alongside a clip of a phone call she received confirming she would be playing the role of Celie.
In the recording, the 37-year-old said as she spoke to an unidentified individual, “Oh my God, I won’t say nothing. You know I won’t.” The clip wrapped up with Barrino jumping for joy as her husband, Kendall Taylor, captured her reaction while saying, “I got the part! I got the part!”
When Taylor asked, “What part you talking about?” the singer replied, “Celie!” In addition to the video, Barrino opened up about what this role meant, while explaining the similarities between her and the character. In a caption for a social media post, she recounted the first time she portrayed Celie in the 2007 Broadway play.
“As I sit tonight and reflect on the journey my life has taken I believe I now understand what Redemption truly feels like. The last time I stepped into this character, the similarities between what I portrayed on stage and what I experienced in my own reality were too close for comfort. I’ve learned since then that my pain was only an introduction to a greater purpose of meaning and assignment.”
Barrino ended her statement by encouraging “every little black girl” to “never give up” on their dreams. She wrote, “I hope that every little black girl who is fighting to be heard and recognized also promises to never give up in spite of the costs.”
As news about Barrino’s new gig began circulating on social media, many expressed how happy they were.
“SO PROUD OF HER!”
“We know she about to kill it… she don’t even need a mic lol”
“Loveeee her!!!! She deserves it !! I’m sure she’s going to BODY the role!!!”
“From stage to screen I KNOW THATS RIGHT TASIA!”
“Congrats. Finally getting the flowers you deserve.”
Among the praise, others claimed they anticipate a future Oscar nomination for Barrino’s role. One wrote, “Congrats. Oscars, here we come.” Another said, “I hear Oscar winner Fantasia in the near future.”
“The Color Purple Musical” will also star Colman Domingo, Halle Bailey, Taraji P. Henson, Corey Hawkins, H.E.R. and Danielle Brooks. The film, which Oprah Winfrey will produce, is slated to be released in December 2023.
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