H.E.R. is already an Oscar winner, earning the best original song trophy in April for her song “Fight For You,” from Warner Bros.’ “Judas and the Black Messiah.” The singer, songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist also has won four Grammys.
In her Variety cover story, the 23-year-old songstress expressed her desire to become a top musician and a top actor.
“There is so much I want to do. People don’t really get to see my comedic and fun side, except for when I’m impersonating my aunt,” she said, with a laugh. “But I definitely want to do a lot more voice-overs, and comedy, but also some serious roles.”
Catching herself, she continued: “I’m trying to do it all, I know. Whatever it is, one thing at a time. I’m gonna get there.”
Joining the cast of Warner Bros.’ adaptation of the Tony-winning Broadway musical, which is itself an adaptation of Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, definitely qualifies as “serious.”
H.E.R. is set to play Squeak, who goes from a juke joint waitress to an aspiring singer in the musical, and was played by Rae Dawn Chong in Steven Spielberg’s Oscar-nominated 1985 movie.
The budding actor will join Corey Hawkins (“In The Heights,” “The Tragedy of Macbeth”) in the film directed by Bazawule, who is best known for his work on Beyoncé’s “Black is King, as well as his solo feature “The Burial of Kojo.” Marcus Gardley wrote the screenplay, adapted from Marsha Norman’s book and Brenda Russell, Allee Willis and Stephen Bray’s score.
Oprah Winfrey, who made her feature acting debut in Spielberg’s “The Color Purple,” is producing the movie under her Harpo Films banner; Spielberg also returns to produce for his Amblin Entertainment. Scott Sanders and Quincy Jones, both of whom produced the Broadway musical, are also producers. Alice Walker, Rebecca Walker, Kristie Macosko Krieger, Carla Gardini and Mara Jacobs are executive producers.
“The Color Purple” is set to be released on December 20, 2023.
The Hollywood Reporter was first to confirm H.E.R.’s role in the movie.
Jem Aswad and Jazz Tangcay contributed to this story.