Danielle Brooks is definitely overjoyed at her Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination for The Color Purple, after all the many, many years of hard graft she has put into her craft. However, she can’t help but wish the film had more nominations than just her own. On Tuesday morning, the nominations announcement came for Brooks and Brooks alone.
“I of course wish that my sister Fantasia [Barrino] could have had that moment as well, as our leading lady,” Brooks told Deadline after receiving the news. “She was phenomenal. But I’m grateful that I also get to share these moments with Colman [Domingo] for another movie [Rustin].
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Barrino and Brooks both starred in the Broadway production of The Color Purple and reprised those roles in this Blitz Bazawule-directed film. The Color Purple follows Celie (Barrino) as she contends with abuse from all sides, including from her husband (Domingo), but finally takes back her life and realizes her worth, in part thanks to the unstoppable Sofia (Brooks) and singer Shug Avery (Taraji P. Henson).
“I think about 1985 and how the Steven Spielberg version had 11 nominations, and Steven himself wasn’t even included in those nominations as Best Director, and there was not one win,” Brooks said. “And here we are, however many years later, and I’m the lone wolf here. I’m very humbled by it all.”
Brooks said that Sofia had taught her “to keep fighting,” because “this industry is so challenging to navigate. I wasn’t born into this thing. I didn’t have all of these mentors when I was first coming in to teach me the ropes. And so there are moments that you really want to give up and quit. And because I have been with Sofia at different journeys of my life — I started out a theater girl, and so the first Broadway show that I ever witnessed was The Color Purple — so that gave me the motivation to say, ‘Maybe I can do this?'”
Currently in New Zealand, Brooks is shooting the film Minecraft, directed by Jared Hess and co-starring Jason Momoa, Jennifer Coolidge and Jack Black. She said details of her character Dawn are really still “under wraps,” but “let’s just say she’s a jack of all trades.”
The shoot experience has been “really lovely” she added, despite intense daily stunt training. And having Coolidge around also helps. “I just met her the other day in the hair and makeup chair and I was just like, I am loving just being in her presence,” Brooks laughed. “She just seems like the coolest lady. And the moments I’ve just had recently with Jack Black too. I’m just like, this is so cool to be surrounded by such talented artists, specifically the comedians that they are. I just feel like the luckiest girl to learn from them. I’ve been watching their careers and stealing moments of watching how they make jokes and land things. So it’s really cool to now get to be on the ground working with them.”
“And getting to do an action movie like this, being a plus size woman, it doesn’t happen all the time, so I’m just grateful I get to continue to break those barriers. That’s what I get to shine a light on. So I’m enjoying my time over here, but also just basking in this glorious moment of receiving my first Oscar nomination.”
This latest nomination has made Brooks an EGOT nominee. She was Emmy-nominated for her role in Robin Roberts Presents: Mahalia; Grammy-nominated for Best Musical Theater Album for The Color Purple and Tony nominated for Broadway production of The Color Purple.
Brooks also said she is awaiting further news of Season 2 of HBO Max series The Peacemaker. “I think we should start this year, but I’m not quite sure,” she said. “I mean, I only follow what James Gunn writes on Twitter. It seems that he’s almost done writing Season 2, so that’s promising, because he’s pretty transparent with his process. So it looks like we’re in a good place.”
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