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Whoopi Goldberg’s Cameo in ‘The Color Purple’ Explained

The new musical adaptation from director Blitz Bazawule The color purple offers a new take on Alice Walker’s literary classic, but it also includes a surprise appearance from a key character from the tale’s storied past.


Near the beginning of the film, original Celie actress Whoopi Goldberg, who earned her first Academy Award nomination for Best Actress in Steven Spielberg’s 1985 film, The color purple – appears in a brief role as a local midwife who helps young star Phylicia Pearl Mpasi’s version of Celie give birth.


Screenwriter Marcus Gardley told Los Angeles Times that he had long felt compelled to include Goldberg in the new film, and had even considered bringing her back as Celie’s mother (a role played by Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor in Bazawule’s film). Although this interpretation seemed “too delicate”, he ultimately decided to create the role of midwife for Goldberg for an emotional reason.


Oprah Winfrey and Whoopi Goldberg in “The Color Purple”; Phylicia Pearl Mpasi and Halle Bailey in “The Color Purple.”

Everett Collection (2)



“Symbolically, it seemed like the perfect part, because she’s the one who not only encourages him during childbirth, but it’s as if she gave birth to the role herself and now we see her convey it,” Gardley said. “It’s one of the most beautiful scenes because you see (Goldberg) looking at (Mpasi) with pride and saying, ‘You can do this.'”


Bazawule added that See The host made filming the scene a comical affair, thanks to her warm presence on set.


“We had to stop and laugh because of everything (Goldberg) did, and we forget that she comes from stand-up (comedy),” the director recalls. “But more than anything, I remember how caring and loving she was towards Phylicia. It was symbolic not only because of what Whoopi represents in the canon of The color purplebut what Whoopi represents, period: the heavyweight she is and the doors she opened.”


Fantasia Barrino in “The Color Purple”.

Everett Collection



Goldberg starred in Spielberg’s 1985 masterpiece as Celie, a Georgian woman who, for several decades, attempts to reconnect with her sister Nettie, after Celie’s relationship with her abusive husband drives a wedge. emotional and physical gap between siblings.


The film earned 11 Oscar nominations in 1986, including one for best picture and another for supporting actress Oprah Winfrey, who returned to produce the 2023 film alongside Spielberg. The new film has received considerable attention on the awards circuit, with Fantasia Barrino (as the adult version of Celie) and Danielle Brooks (who succeeded Winfrey as Sofia) earning nominations so far outstanding awards from major awarding bodies.


The color purple is now playing in cinemas nationwide.



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