Who played older nettie in The Color Purple? RECAP

The enduring popularity of The Color Purple can be traced back to its diverse adaptations over the years. Originating as a novel penned by Alice Walker, it transitioned into a Steven Spielberg film in 1985, followed by a Tony Award-winning musical in 2005, and now, a musical film adaptation. Four decades since the novel’s debut, the narrative of resilience, self-discovery, and sisterly love remains relevant and heartwarming. This sweeping saga, spanning almost a lifetime, chronicles the journey of Celie, a young black woman in the early 20th century South, triumphing over abuse from both her stepfather and husband. With iconic performances by renowned actors like Whoopi Goldberg, Renee Elise Goldsberry, and Jennifer Hudson in previous adaptations, the latest rendition features talents such as Fantasia Barrino and Taraji P Henson, who step into these legendary roles.


12. Fantasia Barrino and Phylicia Pearl Mpasi as Celie Harris-Johnson:

Fantasia Barrino and Phylicia Pearl Mpasi take on the roles of both the older and younger Celie Harris Johnson in the upcoming adaptation. Celie, the resilient protagonist and narrator, triumphs over harsh circumstances and ultimately finds happiness. Despite her impoverished and uneducated background, she endures abuse from her stepfather and later her husband. However, her most severe punishment is the cruel separation from her sister, Nettie. Throughout her adult life, Celie discovers romance with blues singer Shug Avery and maintains hope of reconnecting with Nettie.

Fantasia Barrino gained prominence after winning the third season of American Idol, subsequently releasing albums and portraying Celie on Broadway. This film marks the feature debut for both Barrino and Mpasi. Initially a writer, Mpasi recently contributed to the Paramount+ series Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies.

11. Taraji P. Henson as Shug Avery
Taraji P. Henson embodies the character of Shug Avery, a seductive blues singer initially introduced as Celie’s husband Mister’s mistress. However, Shug and Celie develop a close relationship that evolves into a romantic connection. Through Shug’s unapologetic confidence and love, Celie gains the courage to embrace her true self. Henson, known for her roles in films like Hustle & Flow and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, received her first Oscar nomination alongside Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett. She later found success on television in Empire, portraying the complex character Cookie, and made a recent guest appearance on the sitcom Abbott Elementary.

10. Danielle Brooks as Sofia
Danielle Brooks portrays Sofia, a fiercely independent woman who befriends Celie and marries Harpo. Unlike Celie, Sofia refuses to submit to societal expectations from white individuals, men, or anyone who fails to recognize her as an equal. Brooks, recognized for her role as Taystee in Orange is the New Black, is also an active theater actor, having previously played Sofia on Broadway. Currently, she stars in the Max series Peacemaker.

9. Colman Domingo as Albert ‘Mister’ Johnson
Colman Domingo assumes the role of Albert ‘Mister’ Johnson, Celie’s abusive husband. A relentless philanderer, Mister engages in numerous affairs, including one with Shug. He goes to great lengths to keep Celie away from her sister Nettie, even hiding Nettie’s letters. Domingo, known for his roles in acclaimed period pieces like Lincoln, If Beale Street Could Talk, and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, has also appeared in the teen drama Euphoria. Currently, he stars in the lead role of the Netflix historical civil rights drama Rustin.

8. Corey Hawkins as Harpo Johnson
Corey Hawkins plays Harpo Johnson, Mister’s sensitive eldest son. Despite being more emotionally expressive than his father, Harpo’s mistreatment of Sofia, influenced by his domineering father, leads to her temporary departure. Hawkins rose to fame for his portrayal of rap legend Dr. Dre in Straight Outta Compton and has since starred in various films, including BlackKklansman, In The Heights, and The Tragedy of Macbeth. His future projects include an adaptation of August Wilson’s play The Piano Lesson, alongside John David Washington and Samuel L Jackson.

7. H.E.R. as Squeak / Mary Agnes:
H.E.R. takes on the role of Squeak/Mary Agnes in The Color Purple film adaptation. Initially submissive, Squeak undergoes a significant transformation, insisting on being called by her true name, Mary Agnes, as she pursues a singing career. While primarily known as a singer, H.E.R. is no stranger to the film industry, having earned an Oscar in 2022 for Best Original Song with “Fight for You” from the movie Judas & the Black Messiah. This marks her debut in film acting.

6. Ciara and Halle Bailey as Nettie Harris:
Ciara and Halle Bailey portray the older and younger versions of Nettie Harris, Celie’s younger sister, in the upcoming film. Despite initial intentions for marriage by Mister, Nettie escapes and travels to Africa for preaching. Despite the separation spanning decades, she remains independent and generous, reflecting her pan-African and anti-imperialist ideals. Ciara, known for her early 2000s pop career, collaborates with artists like Missy Elliott and Justin Timberlake, making this her first film since 2012’s That’s My Boy. Halle Bailey, also a singer, gained fame with her first major acting role in the Blackish spinoff Brownish and rose to worldwide recognition starring in Disney’s The Little Mermaid this year.

5. Aunjanue Ellis as Mama:
Aunjanue Ellis embodies the role of Mama, the mother of Celie and Nettie, who passed away after a prolonged illness. Her tragic end initiates a pattern of relentless assault on Celie by her stepfather. Throughout the 2010s, Ellis appeared as a recurring character in TV shows like The Mentalist and NCIS: Los Angeles. She recently earned critical acclaim and an Oscar nomination for her portrayal of Serena and Venus Williams’ mother, Oracene, in King Richard, alongside Will Smith.

4. Jon Batiste as Grady:
Jon Batiste takes on the character of Grady, Shug’s husband, in the film adaptation. Despite his loving nature and non-violent tendencies, Grady is an unapologetic womanizer with irresponsible spending habits. His erratic behavior prompts relief for Shug when he engages in an affair with Squeak. Known primarily as a musician and former bandleader for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert from 2015 to 2022, Batiste won an Oscar for composing the score for Pixar’s Soul. He recently featured in the documentary American Symphony, which documented the composer’s career highs and personal lows, including his wife’s cancer diagnosis.
3. Louis Gossett Jr. as Ol’ Mister Johnson
Louis Gossett Jr. assumes the role of Ol’ Mister Johnson in the film, portraying Mister’s father. Demonstrating greater principles than his son, he expresses disapproval of Mister’s affairs and departs in disgust upon learning that Shug has three illegitimate children. A stage and screen legend, Gossett Jr. holds the distinction of being only the third Black person to secure an Academy Award, recognized for his supporting role as the tough yet wise drill sergeant in An Officer and a Gentleman. Recently, he featured in the HBO miniseries Watchmen.

2. David Alan Grier as Rev. Samuel Avery
In a separate role, David Alan Grier embodies Rev. Samuel Avery, a minister who, alongside his wife, Corrine, adopts Celie’s biological children, Olivia and Adam. An intelligent and compassionate individual, Rev. Samuel Avery remains dedicated to uplifting black communities both in the US and Africa, eventually relocating for missionary work. Throughout his career, Grier has graced several popular sitcoms, such as Martin and The Carmichael Show. Notably, this year he starred in the Netflix science fiction comedy, They Cloned Tyrone, alongside Jamie Foxx.

1. Deon Cole as Alfonso
Deon Cole plays Alfonso, Celie and Nettie’s stepfather. He is violent with both of his daughters, but Celie is the only one he sexually assaults. Unlike other violent men in the story who change their ways, like Harpo, Alphonso remains an unfeeling abuser. Cole is best known for his role as Charlie Telphy in Blackish. He currently stars in the dark comedy series, Average Joe, about an average plumber who discovers that his deceased father worked for the Russian Mafia.

Cast (in credits order) verified as complete

Danny Glover Danny Glover Albert
Whoopi Goldberg Whoopi Goldberg Celie Johnson
Margaret Avery Margaret Avery Shug Avery
Oprah Winfrey Oprah Winfrey Sofia
Willard E. Pugh Willard E. Pugh Harpo Johnson (as Willard Pugh)
Akosua Busia Akosua Busia Nettie Harris
Desreta Jackson Desreta Jackson Young Celie Harris
Adolph Caesar Adolph Caesar Old Mister Johnson
Rae Dawn Chong Rae Dawn Chong Squeak
Dana Ivey Dana Ivey Miss Millie
Leonard Jackson Leonard Jackson Pa Harris
Bennet Guillory Bennet Guillory Grady
John Patton Jr. John Patton Jr. Preacher
Carl Anderson Carl Anderson Reverend Samuel
Susan Beaubian Susan Beaubian Corrine
James Tillis James Tillis Buster
Phillip Strong Phillip Strong Mayor
Laurence Fishburne Laurence Fishburne Swain (as Larry Fishburne)
Peto Kinsaka Peto Kinsaka Adam
Lelo Masamba Lelo Masamba Olivia
Margaret Freeman Margaret Freeman Odessa
Howard Starr Howard Starr Young Harpo
Daphaine Oliver Daphaine Oliver Young Olivia
Jadili Johnson Jadili Johnson Young Adam
Lillian Njoki Distefano Lillian Njoki Distefano Young Tashi
Donna Buie Donna Buie Daisy
Leon Rippy Leon Rippy Store Clerk
John Ratch Hart John Ratch Hart Mailman (as John R. Hart)
David Thomas David Thomas Road Gang Leader
Carrie Murray Carrie Murray Loretta
Juliet Poe Juliet Poe Church Sister
Katie Simon Katie Simon Church Sister
Ethel Taylor Ethel Taylor Church Sister
Marcus Covington Marcus Covington Boy
Marcus Liles Marcus Liles Boo
April Myers April Myers Emma
Maurice Moore Maurice Moore Child #1
Lechanda Latharp Lechanda Latharp Child #2
Drew Bundini Brown Drew Bundini Brown Jook Joint Patron
Arnold F. Turner Arnold F. Turner Jook Joint Patron (as Arnold Turner)
Jeris Poindexter Jeris Poindexter Jook Joint Patron (as Jeris Lee Poindexter)
Hawthorne James Hawthorne James Jook Joint Patron (as James Hawthorne)
Sonny Terry Sonny Terry Jook Joint Musician (as Saunders Sonny Terry)
Greg Phillinganes Greg Phillinganes Jook Joint Musician
Roy Gaines Roy Gaines Jook Joint Musician
Paulinho Da Costa Paulinho Da Costa African Musician
Nana Yaw Asiedu Nana Yaw Asiedu African Musician
Clarence Avant Clarence Avant African Musician
Bayo Martin Bayo Martin African Musician
Ndugu Chancler Ndugu Chancler African Musician
Jeffrey Kwashi Jeffrey Kwashi African Musician
Pete Munzhi Pete Munzhi African Musician
Aniijia Rae Schockley Aniijia Rae Schockley African Musician
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Maria Howell Maria Howell Church Choir Soloist (uncredited)
Gayle King Gayle King Churchgoer (uncredited)
Kenneth LeGrand Kenneth LeGrand Johnson Family Friend (uncredited)
Alex Martin Alex Martin Little Girl (uncredited)
Joni Palmer Joni Palmer Self – Junk Joint (uncredited)
Madison T. Shockley Sr. Madison T. Shockley Sr. African Chief (uncredited)



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