Fantasia Barrino is set to shine in Blitz Bazawule’s and Oprah Winfrey’s upcoming film “The Color Purple movie.” The singer cum actress portrays Celie Harris and got cast in the role in February 2022 after having played the part in the theatre version of the musical drama.
The film is three months into production, beginning in March 2022, at Driftwood Beach on Jekyll Island, and will be rounded off at an undisclosed date. Barrino recently took time away from the set to speak with ET about her feature in the film adaptation of “The Color Purple” and her new marital counseling book.
Read below for more details.
Fantasia Barrino Almost Refused Returning For The Film Adaptation Of ‘The Color Purple’
Barrino made her debut on Broadway in 2007 in “The Color Purple,” replacing Ronda Lachanze, who had completed her stint on the show. The actress received critical acclaim for the role, earning her a Theatre World Award and a Broadway.com Award for Best Replacement Star.
Despite the recognition and acclaim that came with the role, Barrino told ET that portraying Celie for nearly nine months on stage had taken its toll on her and how she had promised herself not to reprise the character in a future version whether on stage or screen.
“My life at that time was all over the place,” Fantasia told the news publication. “So, carrying Celie’s weight and my weight was not fun. And I remember saying in interviews and radio stations when they would ask me, I said, ‘Well, I did it, but I’ll never do it again.”
The RnB singer’s stance on her decision would have stayed unchanged had it not been for one of the film adaptation’s showrunners, Scott Sanders, approaching her and pleading with her to repeat her part in the ongoing production.
Scott Sanders Convinced Barrino To Reprise Her Celie Role
When Sanders made a move to get Barrino back for the big-screen version of “The Color Purple,” the actress already had her premediated answer for the producer.
“‘I can’t go back, I can’t do that again, Scott'” Fantasia recounted her discussion with Sanders at the time.
According to the actress, he responded with, “‘Listen, I know where you are in your life right now. I see that you’re married. I’m so proud of you, and I’m so happy. But, there’s no one else that can do this. We need you to do this.'”
Barrino took a bit to make up her mind, but she eventually agreed to join the team and now believes she made the correct choice.
“It’s going to be absolutely amazing,” she added. “I’m glad that I didn’t allow that door to close. I talked it over with my whole entire family, and everybody kept saying, ‘I think you should do it.'”
Fantasia Barrino Talks About ‘The Color Purple’ Set
Barrino is joined on the set of “The Color Purple” by several cast and crew from her previous stint on Broadway, and a bevy of new actors take over in some of the roles. While the actress is grateful for being able to work once again with old colleagues, reprising her role has been a bitter-sweet mixture of emotions.
“It’s been hard on set, it’s been funny on set, it’s been emotional on set, it’s been cold, it’s been hot,” Barrino said further in the interview. “I will say this too — some of the places that we are filming has been heavy because literally, we have slave homes that have been there for years behind us. We can feel our ancestors.
She added: “So, it’s heavy. But it also reminds us that they paved the way for us. It also reminds us how far — to be an all-Black cast — we want to push the heavens for our ancestors and for our generation today.”
Fantasia Barrino’s New Marriage Advice Book
Barrino, who attended the interview with her husband Kendall Taylor, also touched on their new marriage advice book. The couple has been married for seven years and has now penned their life experiences into a new book, “No Crown in the Castle: Building a Strong Relationship and a Harmonious Life.”
“We want to see people flourish, you want to see love win,” Fantasia said. “We always let people know that we are not trying to be pros and say we went to school for anything. We’re just sharing our testimony.”
Barrino and Taylor share a daughter, who was born in May 2021. The actress already has two children — a son, Dallas Xavier, 8, and a daughter, Zion Quari, 19 — from her previous relationship, while Taylor also has a son Treyshaun from a former partner.