Oprah Winfrey is sharing details about one of her biggest career milestones nearly 40 years later.
The media mogul, 69, reflected on her Oscar-nominated role in 1985’s “The Color Purple,” sharing in a new interview for Essence published on Oct. 17 that she was paid $35,000 to portray the character of Sofia.
Though the movie marked her first big-screen appearance, Oprah’s work went on to receive Hollywood’s highest acclaim and she explained the positive perspective she has about the experience despite her low salary at the time.
“I can’t even begin to tell you what it means to me – a person who wanted nothing more in my life than to be in ‘The Color Purple,'” Oprah began. “And God taught me to surrender – that was the big lesson for me. They were only offering $35,000 to be in this film, and it is the best $35,000 I ever earned. It changed everything and taught me so much. It is God moving through my life.”
Oprah spoke to the mag alongside the star-studded cast of a new movie musical adaptation of “The Color Purple,” which includes Taraji P. Henson, Fantasia Barrino, Danielle Brooks and H.E.R.
“Orange is the New Black” alum Danielle will be taking on Sofia for the newest version and Oprah marveled over witnessing her successor’s immediate passion for the opportunity.
“I said, ‘I’m passing the baton.’ I didn’t realize in that moment that you were going to take the baton and run with it!” she said.
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Danielle went on to express her gratitude for Oprah’s influence and support as she crafted her take on the character.
“I just want to thank you, Ms. Oprah, for surrendering to God and his plan for your life. You have shown me how to do that. Thank you for laying the blueprint for Sofia—because I know that she’s changed your life, and I can feel that mine is about to shift, too,” Danielle said, per Essence. “Thank you for leaving space for me but also being there, to hold my hand and answer that phone call when I needed you. You have been such a light, such a beautiful soul.”
“The Color Purple” hits theaters on Christmas Day.
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