Taraji P. Henson's  American Idol
Entertainment

“Taraji P. Henson’s Unforgettable American Idol Experience: Voting for Fantasia Until Her Finger Went Numb”

Since her time on American Idol, Taraji P. Henson has supported her Colour Purple co-star Fantasia Barrino.

Members of the cast of The Colour Purple attended the Fairmont Century Plaza Hotel in Century City, California on Monday for the Critics Choice Association’s Celebration of Cinema & Television: Honouring Black, Latino, and AAPI Achievements.

Henson, 53, gushed to PEOPLE in attendance about how much she loves and supports Barrino, 39.

When questioned about her experience working with the “Free Yourself” singer on the set of their upcoming movie, the Hidden Figures performer responded, “I’ve always been a fan of hers and I was a huge champion for her on American Idol.”Taraji P. Henson's  American Idol

“My finger felt numb after casting as many votes as I could. In addition, my grandfather, who died roughly 20 years ago, was a major admirer of hers. Thus, I’m loving her via him,” Henson continued.

At the age of 19, Barrino was victorious in the singing competition in May 2004. Ryan Seacrest, the host of American Idol, announced at the moment that a record 65 million votes had been cast to determine the winner.

“I’ve been through a lot, but I’ve worked really hard to get to this point. Upon being declared the winner, Barrino expressed his gratitude to everyone with great emotion.

Barrino will now be heard singing in the soon-to-be released musical film The Colour Purple, which is based on Alice Walker’s 1982 book. Halle Bailey, Henson, Jon Batiste, Danielle Brooks, Louis Gossett Jr., Corey Hawkins, David Alan Grier, Colman Domingo, Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor, H.E.R., Ciara, and Deon Cole are among the renowned actors in the ensemble cast.

In the 1985 film, Oprah Winfrey, who is producing the new picture, played Sofia opposite Whoopi Goldberg as Celie.

Onstage at CinemaCon 2023 in April, she declared, “The Colour Purple in 1985 was the biggest and most important thing that ever happened to me and continues to be,” and that “now we’re doing a brand-new version that could only come because of the most perfect director,” in Blitz Bazawule, who directed Beyoncé’s Black Is King.

According to a press release, the movie centres on “the extraordinary sisterhood of three women who share one unbreakable bond.”

Barrino plays the mature Celie, and Henson plays Shug Avery. The singer of “Truth Is” is taking on the role for the second time; she played the same part in the Broadway production of The Colour Purple in 2007.

The 69-year-old Winfrey also produced the Tony Award-winning production.

Barrino previously told PEOPLE that the actress taught her a lot of valuable lessons.

“I got a lot of advise from Oprah. She took a seat for me. Simply put, the way a woman ought to conduct herself. How to handle your finances. How to avoid putting your faith in just anyone. Just be careful,” she stated in 2008.

Above all, though, you need to be mindful of your actions. It’s how you have to present yourself. Barrino continued, “You simply need to be mindful of everything you do and conduct yourself like a lady. “So other young ladies who are watching you will know this is how you do it.”

On December 25, The Colour Purple will open in theatres.

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