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'American Idol 3' champ Fantasia Barinno dishes on 'Color Purple'


By Christopher Rocchio, 09/06/2007 

When Fantasia Barrino captured American Idol's third-season crown in May 2004, she presumably envisioned a long music career was ahead. While she's had the chance to show-off her vocal abilities, Fantasia has also given her acting chops a try in The Color Purple on Broadway.

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"I never thought I'd be on Broadway!" said Fantasia in the September 10 issue of OK! Weekly.  "The Color Purple was the first show I ever saw.  It's hard work, but it's an amazing thing to do."

The 23-year-old joined the cast of Oprah Winfrey's Tony Award-winning Broadway show The Color Purple in April, playing the role of Miss Celie -- the abused young woman played by Whoopi Goldberg in Steven Spielberg's 1985 big-screen adaptation of Alice Walker's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel.

"I know how it feels to think you're nothing or ugly, so I put myself back into the time when I felt that way," Fantasia told OK! about how she relates to Celie.  "Sometimes I don't want to do that, but it makes it easier to play her."

Fantasia's original run in The Color Purple was only supposed to last until October, however the show's producers extended her stay in the cast until January 2008 because it received a box-office boost after she joined the production.

"Sometimes I don't know how I make it through," Fantasia told OK! about performing up to eight shows a week.  "When my body wants to quit, I have to say, 'Okay, just keep pushing.'  Once I get on stage and I see and hear the audience, I get some energy."

In addition to a boost from the show's live audiences, Fantasia said she's able to keep performing because she thinks The Color Purple's plot "can touch someone else."  Her role has already resonated with one young fan, her 6-year-old daughter Zion.

"I didn't think she was going to get it.  I sat her down and tried to tell her, 'Mommy's not really being hit, Mommy's just acting,'" Fantasia told OK!.  "After the show, she told me, 'Mommy, you are beautiful.'  She's very proud of what Mommy's doing, and that makes me very happy."

American Idol judges Randy Jackson and Paula Abdul have already seen Fantasia's Broadway debut in The Color Purple, however fellow judge Simon Cowell has yet to make an appearance.

"Maybe he's afraid he's going to watch it and shed a tear!" Fantasia told OK!.

Despite her busy performance schedule, Fantasia said she still has time for a romantic relationship because "everybody's got a little time for some love."

"I do have a crush on somebody right now, but I can't tell it," she told OK!.  "He's a rapper.  He's pretty tough and hard, just like I like 'em.  But he's always on the road and I'm always on the road, so I don't know.  He's cute to me, though, and he knows I like him."

Following her run in The Color Purple, Fantasia said she plans on going on tour in the U.S. and abroad.

"Music is my first love," she told OK!.  "I really miss it."


(Photo credit Fox)


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