Fantasia had to stop attending trauma therapy to star in ‘The Color Purple’

During the press run for the upcoming new film adaptation of The Color Purple, Fantasia Barrino has been open and honest about what she says was a difficult decision to agree to reprise her role as Celie.

In her Variety spread, the singer revealed she vowed to never play the role again, citing how “traumatic” of an experience her Broadway run had been. 

In a recent chat with ABC Audio, Barrino opened up about having to pause the trauma therapy sessions she had started so that she could fully tap into the character. 

“In traumatic therapy, you tap into your childhood — things that you did not know that’s affecting you and your grown life because of your childhood, that is what we work on,” she said.

Barrino said it was necessary for her to “go back to the young Fantasia” in order to give her best performance of Celie, a character who experiences abuse and racism, among other traumas.

“Playing Celie is very taxing,” she added, noting filming took place “on sets where there’s still slave houses.”

“I knew going in that I was going to have to put my all into it. I knew going in it that it was going to be taxing.”

But Barrino believed the new, reimagined Color Purple, and the more joyful depiction of Celie, would change lives.

“I knew it was going to be a ministry and so I had to do it,” she said. 

The Color Purple hits theaters on Christmas Day, December 25. 

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