Taraji P. Henson Says She Ignored Call For ‘The Color Purple’ Role

Taraji P. Henson revealed in an interview that she initially didn’t answer the phone when Oprah Winfrey, producer of the new movie, called to announce she’d booked the role of Shug Avery.

“I saved my recording. I don’t answer calls from numbers that I don’t know, and Oprah’s number comes up unknown,” Henson said. “Tyler Perry hit me and was like, ‘Are you answering your phone?’ I was like, ‘Why?’ He said, ‘Girl, just answer the phone!’

Though she’d previously turned down an offer in the Broadway adaptation for fear she would “blow out [her] vocal chords” singing every night, Taraji felt she was “ready” to be part of the movie musical as she wouldn’t have to sing as consistently.

The movie will release in theaters Christmas Day 2023.


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