Tensions come to a head in the Easter dinner scene from Blitz Bazawule’s musical adaptation “The Color Purple.” In this moving moment from the film based on Alice Walker’s novel and the beloved Broadway production of the same name, Celie (Fantasia Barrino) confronts Mister (Colman Domingo), the brute farmer she was married off to by her father as a teen, and the years of abuse she’s endured at his hands. Meanwhile, Sofia (Danielle Brooks) breaks down in tears and gratitude for Celie staying by her side while Sofia was locked up in jail after refusing to work for the mayor’s wife.
Also gathered from the ensemble at the table are Oscar nominee Taraji P. Henson as bluestress Shug Avery, Oscar winner Jon Batiste as Grady, Corey Hawkins as Harpo, and Oscar winner H.E.R. as Mary Agnes.
The acclaimed film, one of the biggest Christmas Day openings ever, just received two nominations at the Screen Actors Guild Awards for Ensemble Cast in a Motion Picture and Female Actor in a Supporting Role for Brooks, who also played Sofia in the stage version. The scene is a powerhouse moment for all the actors, and among the film’s many emotional centerpieces. Brooks and Barrino were also nominated at the Golden Globes for their performances.
IndieWire recently spoke to Brooks about her journey back to the character she was made by nature to play. “It was through playing Sofia and singing ‘Hell No’ every night on Broadway for a year in 2015 that really helped me to come out of my slump of feeling like I wasn’t enough or feeling imposter syndrome, feeling like, ‘How did I get here?’” she said. “Then getting to play her in this movie, I feel like I’ve had my own moment at the dinner table of coming back into myself … of owning my power through this character, and owning my power in this industry, and knowing that there is a place for me in this industry in the way in which I can move is by being my authentic self.”
“The Color Purple” is currently in theaters from Warner Bros. Watch the clip, an IndieWire exclusive, below.