When it comes to the hierarchy of pop music royalty, it really doesn’t get any higher in the world of Black entertainment than Beyoncé or Rihanna.
Both neck-and-neck in the quadruple threat lane of being a singer, dancer, actress and businesswoman, both Bey and Rih have maintained a status in the industry that puts them at the forefront of consideration when it comes to any major project in the media. That’s why it was interesting when media maven Oprah Winfrey, executive producer on the soon-to-be-released musical remake film to The Color Purple, revealed that movie execs were heavily considering either casting the RENAISSANCE queen or the Unapologetic star as the film’s lead actress.
Harpo made the revelation while gracing the latest cover of The Hollywood Reporter alongside the film’s leading actresses Fantasia Barrino, Taraji P. Henson and Danielle Brooks, telling the publication, “To be completely honest about it, if you were doing this film for $30 or $40 million, the interest in the cast would be very different. Once the film moved to $90 to $100 million, then everybody wants us to bring Beyoncé — ‘Can you get Beyoncé or can you get Rihanna?’” She went on to add, “So we’re sitting in a room saying, ‘Listen, we love Beyoncé. We love Rihanna, but there are other actors who can do this job.’ I do remember conversations about, ‘Y’all, Beyoncé is going to be busy this year.’ It wasn’t even a negotiation, because you’re not getting Beyoncé.”
Granted, Bey was quite busy these past few years with releasing her seventh studio album, the GRAMMY-winning RENAISSANCE, in addition to embarking on an accompanying world tour and producing a theatrical film component to boot. Rihanna on the other hand has been busy embarking on first-time motherhood, giving birth to sons in 2022 and 2023, respectively, alongside hip-hop star boyfriend A$AP Rocky. However, while both divas are sure shot hitmakers on Billboard, neither one has been heralded for their work in Hollywood in the vain of similar soul singer/actresses like Janet Jackson, Vanessa Williams, Brandy or the late Whitney Houston and Aaliyah to name a few.
Based on appearance and simple common sense, we can only assume it was for the role of Shug Avery, which of course went to the Oscar-nominated Henson. There’s also the minor role of adult Nettie to consider, played by Ciara, which given their star power we doubt either lady would’ve agreed to — not to mention, Rihanna definitely wasn’t about to star alongside Ci-Ci!
Scheduling aside though, do you think either Bey or Rih have the chops to pull off such a culturally prominent roll?
Take a look at what some are saying about the sheer thought of pop queens Beyoncé or Rihanna starring in The Color Purple, and then let us known what you think of the potential casting:
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Could You See Beyoncé Or Rihanna Starring In ‘The Color Purple’ Musical Film? was originally published on blackamericaweb.com
1. We too love Rihanna & Beyoncé, but shoutout to Oprah for saying what needed to be said in those rooms
2. Would have loved seeing Beyoncé as Shug Avery. I was hopeful for Taraji but the fact that she didn’t get a Golden Globe nomination for the role has me skeptical; perhaps she was over the top again like her “Annie” performance.
3. Oprah said they wanted Beyoncé or Rihanna in the Color Purple to have someone “a list” with all due respect….no. I’m glad it’s Fantasia and Danielle as the anchors. Danielle is a thespian thespian and Fantasia did a remarkable job on Broadway.
4. They wouldn’t have done this movie justice…they picked the right cast
5. Oprah is very nice nasty Aquarius cause what she pretty much meant was “this ain’t a role for Beyoncé or Rihanna, next topic”
6. Hmmm… Seems like a desperate way to try to draw attention to the film at this point.
7. Comes off like Oprah’s saying they went with second rate, second choice singers with nothing going on so they would be available.
8. I’ve never seen rihanna act a day in her life and beyoncé could’ve done it if she gained 40 or 50 pounds and wore no make-up and no extensions !
9. Oprah standing on business damn
10. she said ‘love them girlies but we need ACTors’