Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Danielle Brooks and Sam Jay on Confidence and ‘The Color Purple’

Danielle Brooks, best known for her role as Taystee in “Orange Is the New Black,” is set to star in “The Color Purple.” The film is the second adaptation of Alice Walker’s 1982 novel, inspired by the 2005 Broadway musical. Brooks plays Sofia, a role originally portrayed by Oprah Winfrey in the 1985 adaptation. Sofia is a maid for a white political family in early 1900s Georgia. Brooks, a Juilliard-trained actress from South Carolina, previously played Sofia in the musical’s 2015 Broadway revival. This production marked her Broadway debut. Last year, she starred with Samuel L. Jackson in a revival of August Wilson’s “The Piano Lesson.”

Comedian Sam Jay has released her first HBO special, “Salute Me or Shoot Me.” Jay, who grew up in Boston, joined “Saturday Night Live” in 2017 after years of stand-up in Los Angeles. She left the show after three seasons to create and star in “Pause With Sam Jay” (2021) and “Bust Down” (2022). Both series showcase her candid, anecdotal humor.

In October, Brooks and Jay met in a Manhattan photo studio to discuss their careers and challenges. Jay asked Brooks about shooting in Georgia for “The Color Purple.” Brooks described the experience as tough but immersive, highlighting the stark difference between stage and on-location performances. She shared how the historical setting brought the story’s gravity to life, making her deeply reflect on her ancestors’ suffering.

When asked about the quick adaptation of the musical to film, Brooks credited Oprah Winfrey. Brooks believes Winfrey ensures the story remains alive for future generations.

Danielle Brooks and Sam Jay continue to rise in their respective fields, bringing powerful stories and humor to diverse audiences.

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