Singer and actress Fantasia Barrino has found a cathartic outlet for her past experiences with abuse in her upcoming role as Celie in the musical remake of “The Color Purple.” In a recent interview, the 39-year-old artist shared the emotional journey of revisiting her own history of physical and sexual abuse while portraying the character of Celie, an abused and impoverished Black woman in the early 20th century South.
Having previously faced abuse in her own relationships, Fantasia saw the role as an opportunity to confront her unresolved feelings. Rather than opting for a stunt double during challenging and abusive scenes, the former “American Idol” winner insisted on personally experiencing the hits.
In explaining her decision, Fantasia expressed the profound impact the role had on her healing process, saying, “I could let go of every man that’s ever put his hands on me. I freed myself from that.”
The interview also touched on Fantasia’s personal struggles, including a 2010 incident where she was hospitalized after overdosing on aspirin and sleeping pills. She emphasized that it wasn’t a suicide attempt but rather a desire to escape the overwhelming challenges she faced at the time, such as financial responsibilities, a lawsuit with her father over her memoir, and the threat of foreclosure.
Reflecting on her journey, Fantasia revealed that the words of encouragement from a nurse during her hospitalization became a turning point, inspiring her to find purpose and share her experiences to uplift others. She stated, “I’ll never do that again because I have purpose. I’m going to speak into every young person’s life and tell them, ‘Don’t you dare give up.'”
“The Color Purple” film, known for its exploration of profound issues such as domestic violence, incest, pedophilia, poverty, racism, and sexism, holds a significant place in the remake. Fantasia joins a cast of notable celebrities, including Taraji P. Henson, H.E.R., Ciara, and Halle Bailey. The musical adaptation of “The Color Purple” is set to premiere in theaters on Christmas Day, promising a powerful and transformative cinematic experience.