Sistaaaaaaa, you been on my miiiiiiind—and so has the cast of the upcoming movie musical, The Color Purple.
The reason why is because on Thursday night, during the ABC News special Soul of a Nation Presents: Screen Queens Rising, the network exclusively revealed that Orange Is the New Black star Danielle Brooks and Fantasia Taylor would be joining the cast of the forthcoming film as Sofia and Celie, respectively.
Per Variety, in conversation with ABC’s Linsey Davis, Brooks recalled on the day she learned she landed the part—a moment that was made especially iconic thanks to Oprah Winfrey, who joined the Zoom call to give Brooks the big news.
Producing under her HARPO Films production banner, Winfrey, who was also cast as Sofia in the original 1985 film explained to Brooks:
“I am here representing all things purple to tell you that you are our Sofia. I’m so happy to pass whatever baton from 35, almost 40, years ago to you. And I know you’re gonna kill it.”
She later added, “I wanted to be the one to tell you because you know I have such love for her, this character, everything she represents and everything she brought to my life. And what I’m hoping is that she does the same thing for you.”
An emotional Brooks then thanked Winfrey and promised to make the media mogul proud in her portrayal.
“My heart is so full, thank you. Thank you. Ms. Oprah, I did not get to thank you enough the first time. So thank you. I’m so glad I get to tell you face-to-face. Thank you for the journey you allowed me to have the first time, thank you so much. And I’m gonna make you proud.”
Both Brooks and Taylor previously starred in the same roles in the Broadway production for The Color Purple over the years. Their casting comes just two days after it was announced that Taraji P. Henson would be taking on the role as Shug Avery on Tuesday. Additional cast members include: Euphoria star Colman Domingo in the role of Mister, Halle Bailey of ChloexHalle in the role of Nettie, Grammy-winning artist H.E.R. in the role of Squeak, and Tragedy of Macbeth and Straight Outta Compton star Corey Hawkins in the role of Harpo, per Vanity Fair.
“I’ve been sitting on this for quite some time. I am ready to pour my soul into THE COLOR PURPLE,” Domingo wrote on Twitter after the news was announced. “Find that human heart in that broken soul of Mister. To work with Blitz, Fantasia, Danielle, Taraji, Corey, H.E.R. And Hailey…takes my breath away.”
“That’s Shug Avery to you. I am beyond THRILLED to share this news with you I’ve been dying to tell y’all!!! I’m so honored to play this iconic role and I can’t wait to share more, very soon🤞🏾!!” Henson wrote in part sharing the news to Instagram.
The Color Purple, directed by Blitz Bazawule, premieres Dec. 20, 2023.