Chaka Khan Reveals Why She Turned Down Steven Spielberg For ‘The Color Purple’
Chaka Khan wasn’t too keen on starring in “The Color Purple.”
The iconic singer, who appeared on “The Jennifer Hudson Show“Friday, said he refused Steven Spielbergbid for a starring role in the beloved 1985 film.
“It’s funny you ask that,” Khan said after Hudson asked her about projects she had turned down during her long career. “Well, you know I turned down ‘The Color Purple’ movie.”
Hudson, who looked shocked, replied, “What?”
Khan said Spielberg approached her to be in the film when she was “20, 22 tops”, but nervousness and aversion to studying kept her from jumping at the chance.
“I was like, trying to run [from] this because I was scared,” the Grammy-winning singer said. ”I was like, ‘Oh my God, a movie, oh my God.’
“I love hated school and testing and studying, you know, I said, ‘Oh, that means I should learn the script,'” Khan added.
The “Through the Fire” singer says the Oscar-winning director asked her to play Celie, the role Whoopi Goldberg ultimately took on in the critically acclaimed film.
After Khan revealed who Spielberg asked him to play, Hudson told his audience, “Imagine Chaka Khan as Celie, y’all?”
“That would have been hot,” Khan replied.
“It would have been a whole different purple color,” Hudson joked.
“The Color Purple”, which starred Oprah Winfrey, Danny Glover and Goldberg, was produced by Spielberg and Quincy Jones.
Based on Alice Walker’s classic 1982 novel, the film centers on black women in the rural south at the turn of the last century, trying to survive and thrive in cruel conditions.
The film was nominated for 11 Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Actress for Goldberg, and Best Supporting Actress for Winfrey and Margaret Avery.
A new musical film adaptation of “The Color Purple”, produced by Spielberg and directed by Blitz Bazawule, is currently in the works.
The upcoming musical is set to star Taraji P. Henson as Shug Avery, Fantasia Taylor as Celie, Colman Domingo as Mister, Danielle Brooks as Sofia, Halle Bailey as Nettie, Corey Hawkins as Harpo, and singer HER as Speak.