Archive for "Oprah"

Hurricane Isaac Shuts Down Production of The Butler

Published by Smriti Mundhra on Friday, August 31, 2012 at 10:00 am.

(Photo: PacificCoastNews.com)

Lee Daniels is probably not a happy camper this week. The Oscar-nominated director had to sit idle while the threat of Hurricane Isaac shut down his production of The Butler, currently shooting in Louisiana. The film’s all-star cast, including Cuba Gooding Jr.Alan RickmanOprah WinfreyRobin WilliamsLenny KravitzMelissa Leo and Forest Whitaker, had to be evacuated to safe locations until Isaac passed.

A source tells the New York Post, “the cast and crew for the film is huge, and it was a giant operation to get them out. But everyone has been taken to safety.”

While we’re sure the cast and crew are eager to get back to work, you gotta imagine the bunker where they’re waiting out the storm must look like one hell of an imaginary dinner party. We’d love to be a fly on the wall as the eclectic and powerful group passes time doing Lord-knows-what. Perhaps Oprah started an impromptu book club?

The Butler is Daniels’ film about the life of White House butler Eugene Allen, played by Whitaker, and his service to eight American presidents over three decades. Allen started as a “pantry boy” in the White House in 1952, and rose through the ranks to head butler. He retired in 1986.

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Exclusive: Desreta Jackson Talks Behind the Scenes of Oprah’s ‘The Color Purple’ Reunion

Published by Clay Cane on Tuesday, November 16, 2010 at 8:30 am.

Yesterday, Oprah Winfrey made cinematic history by reuniting the cast of one of the greatest films of all time: The Color Purple. This year marks the film’s 25th anniversary and Oprah’s reunion was a must-see for any fan of the Stephen Spielberg-directed film, which was based on the book by the iconic Alice Walker.

The world also got to see a grown-up Desreta Jackson, who was 13 years old when she played Young Celie. In our 2009 interview with Desreta, which was her first interview with any media outlet in over 15 years, she revealed that she had not seen or spoken to anyone from The Color Purple in 20 years. In addition, Jackson was raped shortly after the film’s release, which caused her to withdraw from Hollywood.  Now she is a grown woman, is married, has three kids and is an entrepreneur.  Jackson revealed that her interview with BET.com helped her land the spot on The Oprah Winfrey Show. “Oprah’s producer said to me, ‘The reason why I’m asking you these questions is because while we were searching you out we read an article on BET.com. It was intriguing.’  They basically wanted to ask questions concerning the article.”

In a BET.com exclusive, Desreta tells us the behind-the-scenes story of the reunion special, her new luxury hair line company, Black Silk, and the power of The Color Purple. Also, she candidly opens up about an overdue reconnection with Academy Award winner Whoopi Goldberg.

This is the 25th anniversary of The Color Purple and the last year of Oprah’s show. How did it feel to walk on that “Oprah” stage?
Wow! It was amazing… it was overwhelming in many ways because I actually had a secret goal in my heart that one day I would be on “Oprah”! [Laughs] Then when I heard it was her last year I was like, ‘okay, that’s not happening!’ [Laughs] So, it really was amazing.

 

In our 2009 interview, you said you hadn’t seen or spoken to the cast in nearly 20 years. Did you have any nerves or fears reconnecting with them because it had been so long?
Not at all. In fact, I didn’t have any expectations going into the show or reconnecting beyond the fact that we are going to do a show. The biggest thing is that I was going on there as a woman, not a child. Not just a woman, but the type of woman I am now. So I was more observant, more aware. I didn’t expect much and it was crazy because just the opposite happened.

In our previous interview, you said there was some tension with Whoopi on the set. How was it seeing her again?

Yes, Whoopi and I connected. We never disconnected after that, we actually email each other up to now. We talked and shared things. It made me feel like, ‘Oh my God, I got cheated all these years out of a relationship!’ She was so seriously concerned to pull me to the side to talk to me. She said, ‘I’m sorry I never got to tell you how wonderful you were in that film.’  There were so many special moments that behind the scenes, after the show was done, we conversed for about 30 minutes. She was very adamant to make sure that we talked, she initiated contact. It was just so genuine. I got a connection from everyone. They genuinely wanted to know how I was doing; they genuinely wanted to reconnect.

Wow!
Let me tell you, the real show was after the show! [Laughs] Right after the show, Danny Glover was doing a movie so he had to leave, Whoopi had to leave, I had to get back, I had a film I was trying to make a commitment to — everybody wanted to leave but they couldn’t leave. We wanted to just talk. It was crazy; you were going from one dressing room to another green room. Everybody was searching, there were these private conversations. You saw so much happening, it was beyond a show. There were relationships, whether it was people mending misunderstandings or rebuilding. Akosua Busia, who played Nettie, we kept holding hands from the time we saw each other. We walked through halls; I walked with her as a woman, not as a little girl. The bond was unbelievable. I really thought she was still my sister! [Laughs]

And you and Whoopi are still in contact?
Yeah, that was weird to me because I left that reunion show meeting old acquaintances and making new friends. One thing Whoopi did say, ‘Well, you were a little girl.’

Meaning it was hard to connect with you because you were a child?
Yeah, it’s funny because it didn’t matter to me about the past. It hadn’t matter to me for a long time about the past or rumors or things that people had said. It was neither here nor there for me. In fact, I look up to the strength, whatever it is people had to do for their careers. I admire that. I’m not the type of person to hold grudges. It allowed me to be more open to anything or everything. Like I said, I came there expecting nothing and left with everything.

Were you able to have a moment with Oprah?
Yes, I told her, ‘Thank you for inviting me to this.’  She looked like — how could I not invite you? I wanted her to understand that I really appreciate her. I can understand how that would be for her because it seems like when you get to any position in life, it doesn’t have to be to that level that she’s at, people want something from you, everybody wants something. So, I just wanted to thank her and nothing more.

Now that you’ve had that reunion, have you been able to heal old wounds and come full circle?
Just in general, I have been in the process of healing. That is the reason why I am able to talk to people more and reconnect with fans. I don’t have the same fears I did before — because of that I do look at the film differently. I don’t know if it’s just going to the show or overall. I definitely would say one of things that led me to go through that was our initial conversation back in 2009. Getting the fans’ response and positive feedback, finding out how it helped them in many ways, the film and my story.  That was healing.

Tell me about your hair line coming out.

It’s called Black Silk Products; it will be the first African-American luxury hair line. All this time I’ve been away, the thing that I’ve been involved in immensely, is hair. I would make my own shampoos, conditioners; I would get a product, concoct things and figure out why this is not working right.  When I went to manufacturers, I brought my ingredients — I had been testing it for five years on my clients, myself and my daughter. Manufacturers tried to tell me that it was pricey and tried to get me to cut corners. They came out and said, ‘Our research shows that African Americans wouldn’t spend that type of money.’  That infuriated me. I made a decision then, let’s do this. I know that we are quality. I know that we do want the best and I stuck to my guns and that’s when we realized we had a luxury line. Then when I started doing the research I realized we were the first luxury line of our kind. We even cover silk bed sheets, silk scarves; we are branding it because I want people to trust Black Silk. I want them to trust that if we put out something then I know it’s the best and it’s going to work. That’s how it evolved and I accepted where it was going.

When will the Black Silk products be available?
We launch the product line July 4th of 2011. We do have a preview Web site, which is blacksilkproducts.com. You can put your information in and it will keep you updated.

Do you see yourself acting again?
Recently, I got a wonderful script. It’s called The Diva, it’s about an actress that used to be a child actress; she had to fight her way back up to the top. She’s currently the hottest leading actress in Hollywood and she did it her way. It’s more so a love story that you fall in love with her struggles and why she is the way she is — because she can be a bitch! [Laughs] We’re going through the pre-production phase.

Any closing thoughts on The Color Purple?
I just wanted to tell people that their support, whether they realize it or not, positive energy and words are very uplifting. I wanted to tell them I thank them so much for being fans for over 25 years. I have a certain amount of fans that have never forgotten me. I want them to know I truly appreciate that they’re there.

To read our 2009 interview with Desreta Jackson, click here.

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‘The Color Purple’ Cast Reunites on ‘Oprah’

Published by Clay Cane on Monday, November 15, 2010 at 12:00 am.

Oprah is making her 25th and final season huge. She’s already landed interviews with Michael Jackson’s children, the first interview with Ricky Martin after he came out and now she is bringing the entire cast of The Color Purple together, which airs today.

The Color Purple is one of the greatest films of all time.  Based on the book by Alice Walker and directed by Steven Spielberg, the movie received 11 Oscar nominations and lost all of them.  Nonetheless, the flick has been praised for its powerful acting, perfect cast and emotionally charged scenes that have kept fans entertained for years.

Not one cast member is left out, including Desreta Jackson (young Celie), who in an interview with BET.com two years ago said she hadn’t been a part of many of The Color Purple events.  In addition, Oprah and Whoopi Goldberg discuss their legendary feud. Check out the clip below.

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Tyler Perry Cancels Play; Appearing on ‘Oprah’

Published by Clay Cane on Tuesday, October 19, 2010 at 8:00 am.

Shortly after the passing of his mother, Tyler Perry hit the road in January for his play Madea’s Big Happy Family. However, Perry revealed that he’s had to cancel the production for now. On his web site he said, “Right now I’m not capable of giving you the show you want and deserve. I hope one day soon I will be able to make it up to you.” Perry pumps out one or two films a year so clearly he needs a break.

But that break can’t happen until after For Colored Girls is released, which is November 5th. To promote the film, Perry sat down with Oprah for what he has said, “The most in depth and revelatory interview I have ever done.” Tyler Perry will be opening up about the abuse he experienced as a child.

There will also be a behind-the-scenes peek at For Colored Girls. I am sure we will all be tuning in this Wednesday!

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Barbara Walters Turned Down Interviewing Mo’Nique’s Brother

Published by Clay Cane on Tuesday, April 27, 2010 at 10:12 am.

moniquesagEver since the controversial interview aired of Oprah talking with Mo’Nique’s family, particularly her brother who molested her, rumors have been spinning.  Now, RadarOnline is reporting that the Oscar winner is upset with Oprah for doing the interview.  However, at the start of the interview Oprah said that she asked Mo’Nique and got her blessing.  I will believe it if it comes from Mo’Nique’s or Oprah’s mouth.

Other reports claim Mo’ is upset because her brother continued to lie about certain specifics of the molestation.

Thursday on The View, the legendary Barbara Walters revealed that Mo’Nique’s family came to her, but she turned down the interview.  She felt as if there were financial reasons for the family wanting to do the interview and did not want to be involved.  Walters said, “I turned it down.  There were my reasons, I also spoke to other members of her family and it seems that Mo’Nique was financially helping the whole family.  When she married her husband, Sidney Hicks, who takes very good care of her and is her  manager and her protector, for various reasons broke off with the family.”  Walters added, “My feeling was that it was their way of getting back because they wanted the financial support.  It began to seem to me like a somewhat unappealing, unattractive story.”  Walters did interview Mo’Nique for her annual Oscar special.

Check out the clip below.

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Danny Glover Arrested; Man Claims To Be Oprah’s Father

Published by Clay Cane on Monday, April 19, 2010 at 11:02 am.

oprah.jpgThe stars of The Color Purple (and Beloved!) are in the news this week.  First, there is Danny Glover. The 63-year-old is a respected actor and Academy Award nominee, but he is also a passionate activist.  Glover, who starred in Death At A Funeral which opened on Friday, protested at a U.S. food company in Maryland along with 11 others.  According to E!, all 12 of them were “busted by local cops as they rallied against Sodexo, a French food company over the level of wages workers were being paid in the cafeteria.”  Glover tweeted on Saturday that he was fine and asked those who are interested in the cause to go to www.seiu.org for more information.

Kitty Kelley’s unauthorized biography on Oprah Winfrey has gotten some buzz but mainly blasted by the media because it doesn’t reveal anything no one already knows about the media queen.  Kelley claims the man that Oprah thinks is her father is not her father.  Now, Norh Robinson, an 84-year-old World War II veteran, claims he is Oprah’s real father — not Vernon Winfrey, who raised Oprah along with her mother, Vernita Lee.  According to the New York Post, Robinson wrote Oprah but she never responded.

Ugh — why can’t folks just let Oprah be?  She is busy trying to change the world, not respond to tabloid rumors.

SOURCE 1, 2

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Oprah Confirmed For ‘Colored Girls’

Published by Clay Cane on Thursday, November 5, 2009 at 12:00 am.

oprah.jpgAs previously reported, Tyler Perry will be directing For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf. There are rumors of the cast, which might include Taraji P. Henson, Mary J. Blige and others. However, in an interview with Black Voices, Oprah confirmed she was be one of the colored girls.

Tyler Perry mentioned your name for one of the roles in his new film ‘Colored Girls.’ Will you do it?
OW: Yeah, I’m one of them. I don’t even know what lady I am. I haven’t acted in 10 years. We’re going to see. He’s writing a script, and let’s see what happens. I want to see it. I love the idea of getting back to acting. I’m happiest when I’m doing it. Nothing makes me happier than being on set with a movie that I really care about. Acting is fun because you get to move yourself out of your own space and become somebody else. Acting is like a vacation for me. It’s a relief.

For those of you who don’t know, Oprah is an Oscar nominee for The Color Purple and she received critical acclaim for her role in The Women of Brewster Place.

Sounds like Colored Girls is going to be a bonafide hit!

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Exclusive | ‘The Princess and the Frog’ Movie Poster

Published by Clay Cane on Wednesday, October 14, 2009 at 12:00 am.

PrincessandtheFrogPosterDisney’s first Black princess, Tiana, is hitting theaters in December in The Princess and the Frog.  Disney provided BET.com with an exclusive image of the movie poster.

The voice of Tiana is Tony winner and Dreamgirls star Anika Noni Rose.  Other voices include Jenifer Lewis, Keith David and Oprah Winfrey as the princess’ mother.  As I’ve said before, I haven’t looked forward to a Disney film in years so be sure to check back here at BET.com for more info on the movie.

The Princess and the Frog begins exclusively at the Walt Disney Studios Theater in Burbank and Ziegfeld Theater in New York City on November 25th and arrives in theaters nationwide on December 11th.

Are you looking forward to The Princess and the Frog?

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Will ‘Precious’ Be Another ‘Slumdog Millionaire’?

Published by Clay Cane on Monday, September 21, 2009 at 12:00 am.

preciousOprah Winfrey has already said that Lee DanielsPrecious is a modern day version of The Color Purple. There is an Oscar buzz for Mo’Nique’s performance. Now, Precious won the People’s Choice prize at the 34th Toronto Film Festival.  According to Variety.com:

Lee Daniels’ inner-city drama, “Precious, Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire,” nabbed the 34th Toronto Film Festival’s People’s Choice prize on Saturday.

“Precious,” starring Gabourey Sidibe, attracted mob scenes the likes of which the fest has rarely seen, thanks to producer Oprah Winfrey’s red carpet appearance and promotional push.

With Sundance’s grand jury, aud and acting (Mo’Nique) prizes already in the trophy case, the Lionsgate pic is solidly poised for awards season contention, if the eight-Oscar legacy of Toronto’s 2008 aud winner “Slumdog Millionaire” is any indication.

Precious also makes history as the first film to win the audience awards at Sundance and Toronto.

If Precious managed to snatch up similar awards to Slumdog Millionaire — like Oscars for best director or best movie — it would be a first for a film starring a predominately African-American cast.  As we all know, The Color Purple received eleven nominations and lost all of them.

Congrats again to another award for Precious!

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Why did they take that role?

Published by Clay Cane on Wednesday, March 11, 2009 at 12:01 am.

We’ve all had those moments where we sat through a two hour movie and said, “Why did they do that?  Did they read the script?”  Well, check out some of the worst film catastrophes from your favorite bloggers across on the web.

Star from Stay Tuned says: moviecuba

Cuba Gooding Jr. in Snow Dogs! I’m all for children’s movies, but that flick definitely makes the list for one of the worst movies of all time. He tried too hard to be funny and hasn’t fully recovered yet. However, I liked him as Nickey Barnes in American Gangster (although it was a small part) so I’ll keep hope alive for Cuba!

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Runteldat from Entertainment Spotlight says:

moviejanet

Janet Jackson in Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married? — in the scene that was supposed to be a tearjerker, Janet was about as convincing as her brother in a self-esteem competition. What happened to the kid actor with all the chops on Good Times? Hopefully Mrs. Gordon still doesn’t own an iron.

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Gyant, Blogger/Social Critic at GyantScoop.com says:movieoprah

Everybody who knows me knows that I love me some Oprah. But I got to say that out of all her movies she’s starred in—I could bust her in the head with a Gyant pillow for making Beloved. Oprah’s trying to get her negro spiritual on and we’re all looking at the screening thinking, “Why the hell is Oprah playing in the dirt?”

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The Young, Black & Fabulous says:  moviegabrielleGabrielle Union in Perfect Holiday:  Not only are we supposed to believe for the 10th movie in a row that she’s gorgeous and still can’t find a man—but Morris Chestnut is her man for the umpteenth time and they still can’t make that ish work?

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Love B. Scott says:

moviemariah1Lord knows I love myself some Mariah Carey but when it comes to her 2001 almost autobiographical film, Glitter, let’s just be honest—Mimi’s Glitter should have came no where near the box office but rather selected to make its debut on VH1!

Clay from What the Flick says:

movienorbit

Eddie Murphy used to have a knack for making the offensive laughable.  However, in 2007’s Norbit, the legendary comedian brought a minstel show to the big screen.  The flick is an awful journey in a lifetime of movie -going experiences.  Some say this film is why he lost the Oscar for Dreamgirls.

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