Taraji P. Henson to Discuss Finding Her Voice on OWN Special With Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey kicks off the three OWN Spotlight specials with Taraji P. Henson. (Credit: Harpo/Huy Doan)

Oprah Winfrey will sit down with Taraji P. Henson, Danielle Brooks, and Fantasia Barrino in January to discuss their experiences filming The Color Purple.

The conversations are part of three new OWN Spotlight specials offering a behind the scenes look at the making of the movie musical.

In a promo for the special, Henson reveals she prayed for strength to believe in herself after landing a role in the film.

“I don’t pick a role unless it scares me, because fear is something to overcome and I will be transformed,” Henson tells Winfrey. “If I’m transformed, then the audience will be.”

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The Color Purple opened on Christmas Day and topped the box office after ringing up $18.1 million in domestic ticket sales.

Based on Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning 1982 novel, the film is described as a modern version of the classic drama.

Set in the rural South in the 1930s, the movie tells the story of a group of Black women who rely on their sisterhood as they deal with hardship and trauma.

Henson portrays Shug Avery, Fantasia plays Celie, and Brooks plays Sofia.

Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, Scott Sanders and Quincy Jones produced the film, which was directed by Blitz Bazawule.

Spielberg helmed the Oscar-nominated 1985 adaptation of Walker’s book, which starred Whoopi Goldberg, Margaret Avery, and Winfrey.

While the original movie focused heavily on heartbreak and difficulty, the new film is inspired by the Tony-winning Broadway musical and is more uplifting, thanks to the song and dance numbers.

Danielle Brooks and Fantasia Barrino had roles in the Broadway production. The two are now nominated for Golden Globe Awards. The film is also expected to be an Oscar contender when the nominations are announced on Tuesday, Jan. 23.

OWN Spotlight is produced for OWN by Harpo Productions. The Color Purple is a Harpo Production in association with Warner Bros. Pictures.

Below are air dates and details on the three hour-long Spotlight specials as provided by OWN.

OWN Spotlight: Oprah & Taraji P. Henson
Premieres Saturday, Jan. 6 at 10pm ET/PT
Oprah and Oscar-nominated actress Taraji P. Henson sit down to discuss her role as the sultry Shug Avery in The Color Purple. Taraji shares how she revisited her gift of singing and how the role challenged her to face her fears. She reflects on the sisterhood formed amongst the cast, their deep appreciation to reimagine this iconic film and the lifelong bonds that were formed. She also explains one of her biggest takeaways from the film: forgiveness is always the place where healing lies.

OWN Spotlight: Oprah & Fantasia Barrino
Premieres Saturday, Jan. 13 at 10pm ET/PT
Oprah welcomes Grammy award-winning singer and Golden Globe nominee Fantasia Barrino to talk about her feature film debut as Celie in the reimagining of the classic story and the Broadway musical The Color Purple. In this emotional conversation, Fantasia shares the personal inspiration behind her portrayal and how her character empowered her to heal. Oprah and Fantasia celebrate the sisterhood of the women at the heart of the story and the new dimension to Shug and Celie’s relationship. Fantasia explains how she learned the power of forgiveness through her role and why she believes women, men and families will be healed by watching The Color Purple.

OWN Spotlight: Oprah & Danielle Brooks
Premieres Saturday, Jan. 20 at 10pm ET/PT
In the final episode of this three-part series, Oprah sits down with TV, Film, Tony-nominated Broadway star and Golden Globe nominee Danielle Brooks to talk about her role as Sofia in The Color Purple. The pair discuss Danielle’s life-changing trip to Broadway as a teenager, how God prepared her for this role and how her rendition of the song “Hell No” helped her cast out fear and disbelief. In a “passing of the torch” moment, Oprah and Danielle also share what playing Sofia means to them and how it has transformed both of their lives forever.