Bet You Didn’t Know: Secrets Behind the Making of “The Color Purple”

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When our favorite books are turned into movies it can either be really great or terribly awful. Though the film adaptation of The Color Purple was a bit different from the book, as expected, the movie was still a masterpiece. The film was well cast with big names who were trying new things and people who had yet to step onto our radar. But it all came together to create an iconic film. So timeless that we bet you still can’t help but to watch it when it comes on tv. Though the story is full of pain, many of us have been able to find humor in some of the film’s darkest moments. Like, What’s Love Got to Do With It, lines from The Color Purple have become a part of the culture. (I’m sure many of you will quote the more popular ones in the comments section.) You know the plot, you know the lines but did you know these behind the scenes secrets? Read on to find out.

Who is going to play Shug Avery?

You would not believe the number of names that came up when it came to this role. Initially, it seemed like the directors were going for a professional singer. Phyllis Hymen was the first choice for the role. While some sources say she declined it, others say she lost it. (The story was included in her biography.) Patti Labelle auditioned for the role but didn’t make the cut. Sheryl Lee Ralph also tested for the role. After Phyllis Hymen was out of the running Spielberg himself tried to get Chaka Khan but she later admitted that she was too scared to take on the role. She wasn’t the only one who wasn’t interested. Diana Ross, Lola Falana and Tina Turner all turned down the role of Shug Avery. Who knows how these divas would have come across on screen but we’re glad that the role eventually went to Margaret Avery. She nailed it.

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