The reimagining of The Color Purple is here, and with it, we are also witnessing the rise of a new star in Hollywood, Phylicia Pearl Mpasi.
Blitz Bazawule accepted the challenge of breaking down and rebuilding The Color Purple for a new generation of fans.
The new movie based on The Color Purple Broadway boasts tremendous Black star power with names like Taraji P. Henson, Danielle Brooks, Colman Domingo, Fantasia, Halle Bailey, H.E.R., and Corey Hawkins. Still, one name that also rings bells is Phylicia Pearl Mpasi.
In the film, which is also her big-screen debut, Mpasi takes on the role of Young Celie and shares screen time with Bailey, who plays Celie’s beloved sister, Nettie.
CassiusLife spoke with Mpasi about stepping from behind the computer screen in the writer’s room to in front of the camera and more.
Mpasi Credits Her Work As A Writer For Helping Her Transition Into Acting Go Smoothly
It’s no secret for Mpasi that this role in The Color Purple was the opportunity of a lifetime that she couldn’t pass up. The writer revealed she didn’t have “enough time” when transitioning from the writer’s room to in front of Bazawule’s cameras.
“I didn’t have enough time to transition. I had like a month, I stopped that writer’s room, and then I was on a plane to start rehearsals right away,” Mpasi told CassiusLife.
She continues, “But I’m grateful of the timing of it because I was mastering a skill and telling a story through writing and through dialogue and through words, and all of that did was as an actor, I asked myself the questions I asked when I was writing characters and would just think about the information I wanted as a writer to come out. So, I would look, I think, just a little step deeper into what the characters were actually saying to each other.”
Mpasi Is Enjoying Acting More Than Writing At The Moment
After being bitten by the acting bug and getting her first taste of being on the silver screen, Mpasi was a bit torn when deciding if she preferred being an actress over a writer. But she did admit being an actress was higher on her list.
“It’s like asking who’s your favorite child?” Mpasi begins.”I think right now I’m stepping into my own as an actor and definitely find that storytelling through this medium is something that is my first love. It’s where I wanted to start, and I found writing along the way because I was just like, I’m going to write my own show so I could have a project. But yeah, I think acting right now is really, is feeling really fulfilling.”
The Color Purple’s Importance
The immediate response when the first trailer for The Color Purple didn’t immediately hit for some, especially those individuals who felt that “we didn’t need” another film based on Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel.
In a time where “book banning” has become the subject of conversation again, thanks to Republican politicians using CRT (Critical Race Theory) as their new boogeyman, The Color Purple remains one of the most challenged pieces of literature in the country.
I think people are trying to rewrite narratives, and I think the issue with that is we need to face our history…
Mpasi believes that this film is important because it “honors the legacy and the trauma” that Blacks in America have faced while sharing a story that shows what happens when we come together and lift each other up.
“I think I would ask why it’s banned. I think your answer is why it’s important. I think people are trying to shy away from this history,” Mpasi tells CassiusLife. “I think people are trying to rewrite narratives, and I think the issue with that is we need to face our history, not even our own personal history, but the history of humanity. And until we face it, we’re not going to be able to move forward. So, I think it’s really important that this work is coming out because it not only honors the legacy and the trauma that our people have gone through, but it also shows what happens when we come together and uplift and empower each other.”
Phylicia Pearl Mpasi Reveals Her Favorite Quote From The Color Purple
Closing the interview out, we asked Mpasi if there was a quote from The Color Purple that sticks with her, and she looked no further than to Shug Avery’s beloved quote, “I think it pissed God off when you walk by the color purple in a field and don’t notice it.”
And so, anytime I saw a purple flower, I would take a picture and say thank you.
“There’s so many, but one of the ones that I walked with while I was filming was, “I think it pisses God off, you see the color purple, and I forget what the rest, acknowledge it.” And so, anytime I saw a purple flower, I would take a picture and say thank you. Just because I was in the space and, I think, I was starting to understand [that] just to have gratitude is something that will set us free. Gratitude will allow us to always feel full and always feel like we have enough, and I really try to walk with that.”
We look forward to seeing Phylicia Pearl Mpasi in more films.
The Color Purple arrives in theaters on Christmas Day. You can watch the entire interview above.
Phylicia Pearl Mpasi Says Writing Helped With Her Big Screen Debut In ‘The Color Purple’ was originally published on cassiuslife.com
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