Fantasia Barrino And Phylicia Pearl Mpasi On Whoopi Goldberg’s Reaction To Them Playing Celie In 'The Color Purple'
Culture & Entertainment

Fantasia Barrino And Phylicia Pearl Mpasi On Whoopi Goldberg’s Reaction To Them Playing Celie In 'The Color Purple'

The Color Purple is the gift that keeps on giving, and the reimagining of the beloved film has made us fall in love with the characters all over again. Whoopi Goldberg played Celie in the original film and passed the torch to Grammy award-winning singer Fantasia Barrino and TV writer turned actress Phylicia Pearl Mpasi. The Color Purplemarks Phylicia’s big screen debut, and she plays young Celie. In a xoNecole exclusive, the actress shared what it was like meeting Whoopi and their shared connection from another iconic project.

“When she walked into the makeup trailer, I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, that’s Whoopi Goldberg, don't say anything. Don't say anything,’” she said. “And she looks at me, and she goes, ‘Ugh, you're adorable. You must be young Celie,’ and I don't think I've ever heard the word adorable, you know, said about Celie. So that was really powerful.”

While the two have a shared connection, as Celie in The Color Purple, it turns out that they both have The Lion King in common as well. She continued, “She was Shenzi in The Lion King, the cartoon version. I did Shenzi for a couple of years on Broadway and on tour. And we connected on just being artists and just being honest in the work, and she was like, ‘You were chosen for a reason. It's yours. You've already got it. You're doing fantastic. Just keep going.’”

Not only did Whoopi come on the set of the film, but the EGOT winner also appeared in the film, birthing the next Celie’s baby. Fantasia revealed that she didn’t have the chance to meet Whoopi during filming, but they were able to share a moment afterward.

“I did not talk to her while we were filming, before we were filming. It was after. And I was able to speak with her when we all did The View, and she finally said, ‘You know, if I would have passed it to anybody, it would of been you,’ she recalled.

The “Free Yourself” singer admitted that she wanted to speak with the comedian prior to filming but suggested that their meeting during The View was meant to be. “I wanted to so bad, but maybe there was a reason why. But the fact that you just said, I just thought about that she comes back in the movie, and she delivers the next gen–. That's a generational–That's really, really, really good, but I don't think I was supposed to talk to her until then.”

Taraji P. Henson, Fantasia Barrino & Danielle Brooks On Whoopi Goldberg's 'Color Purple' Appearance

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Feature image by Michael Rowe/Getty Images for IMDb



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