Oprah Winfrey attends Apple Original Films Documentary SIDNEY in Los Angeles

Oprah Reveals The Thrilling Details Of Her "The Color Purple" Paycheck

Home / News / Oprah Reveals The Thrilling Details Of Her "The Color Purple" Paycheck

By Afouda Bamidele on October 18, 2023 at 12:35 PM EDT
Updated on October 18, 2023 at 12:46 PM EDT

Oprah Winfrey has described the paycheck she received for the 1985 adaptation of Alice Walker's "The Color Purple" as the best and most meaningful she’s ever received.

Although the pay was modest, the billionaire talk show host cannot overlook the impact of playing the iconic role of Sofia in the ‘80s film as she disclosed that it "changed everything."

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Oprah Winfrey Credits God For The Life-Changing Role And The Accompanying $35,000 Paycheck

Despite appearing in a slew of movies, the one that stands out for Oprah would be “The Color Purple”, which was a perfect step towards achieving her lifelong goal of starring in a film. 

She secured an Oscar nomination for her supporting actress performance, and now, as a part of "The Color Purple" musical, she stands a chance of earning another Oscar nomination if the film garners a Best Picture nod. 

The "Native Son" actress, who serves as an executive producer on the upcoming movie musical adaptation, participated in a round-table discussion with the film's leading cast members for an Essence cover story.

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Oprah Winfrey attends The 1619 Project Los Angeles Premiere
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During the candid conversation, co-star Danielle Brooks expressed her gratitude to the 69-year-old for "leaving space for me [on set] but also being there, to hold my hand and answer that phone call when I needed you." 

In response, Oprah extended her gratitude to the entire cast and expressed her personal joy and appreciation for her role in the film. In the words of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences member:

"I can’t even begin to tell you what it means to me — a person who wanted nothing more in my life than to be in ‘The Color Purple.’ And God taught me to surrender — that was the big lesson for me. They were only offering $35,000 to be in this film, and it is the best $35,000 I ever earned. It changed everything and taught me so much. It is God moving through my life."

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Later during the interview, the media mogul shared her appreciation to the cast members, including H.E.R., Taraji P. Henson, and Fantasia Barrino, who were with her and Brooks for the sit down. She said:

"To have all of you beautiful Black women bearing witness to the story, as the story moves forward, means so much. I believe that what Fantasia has said is true: Everybody who comes to see our film is going to be touched. They will be moved. And they will be healed."

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The 'What I Know for Sure' Author Only Has Three Friends She Confides In

Oprah's 2020 Vision: Your Life in Focus

Since most of Oprah's career was built on getting people to confide their thoughts, emotions, and deepest secrets, it came as a shock to find out that she only has three people in her closest circle — and her man isn't one of them. Per The Blast, she dished on these individuals when she appeared on Hoda Kotb's podcast, "Making Space," earlier this month.

The Oprah Winfrey Network founder seemingly skipped her longtime beau, Stedman Graham's name, listing bestie Gayle King, journalist Maria Shriver, and former American football coach Bob Green. Spilling the tea on how she and Shriver met, the Harpo Productions Chairwoman and CEO said:

"I first met her in the bathroom [while working at] WJZ-TV early in the morning. I was coming in to do the morning cut-ins and she was doing [an] evening magazine and had been up all night. [She] was in the bathroom, literally, splashing water on her face, and we started a conversation."

In spite of the ordinary circumstances of their initial meeting, Oprah's convinced that their friendship was divinely orchestrated. As she disclosed, "I forever think that that was, like, a divine moment that happened because she was one of my true, grounded friendships that carried me through my entire career."

As one would expect, the Presidential Medal of Freedom's feelings about Shriver are entirely mutual, as the latter previously gushed:

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"In a funny way, even though I had a very close relationship with my mother, I wasn't nurtured, mothered in that way, right? And [Oprah] wasn't mothered in her own way. But I think, in a way, we have mothered each other."

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