Oprah Winfrey says Beyoncé & Rihanna were discussed for ‘The Color Purple’


When initial conversations took place about superstar talent that might join the cast of The Color Purple, Beyoncé and Rihanna were mentioned. 

Oprah Winfrey talked with The Hollywood Reporter about the pressure to ensure a hit film, which resulted in requests to add big names to the production. 

“To be completely honest about it, if you were doing this film for $30 or $40 million, the interest in the cast would be very different. Once the film moved to $90 to $100 million, then everybody wants us to bring Beyoncé,” Winfrey said.

She was asked if she could get Beyoncé or Rihanna.

Winfrey recalled her response: “‘Listen, we love Beyoncé. We love Rihanna, but there are other actors who can do this job."”

The producer said she remembers discussions about Beyoncé being too busy to do the film. “It wasn’t even a negotiation, because you’re not getting Beyoncé,” she said.

So Winfrey and director Blitz Bazawule stacked their roster with other A-listers. 

The upcoming movie musical, based on Alice Walker‘s 1982 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, stars Fantasia Barrino as Celie, Danielle Brooks as Sofia and Taraji P. Henson as Shug Avery, as well as CiaraHalle BaileyColman Domingo and more.  

The Color Purple will debut in theaters on Christmas Day, December 25. 

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