When Oprah read Alice Walker's The Color Purple 23 years ago, her life, she says, was changed. When a film version of the novel was announced a few years later, Oprah says she prayed every night just to be a part of the experience…and it didn't matter in what role. "You know when you go to movies and at the end of the movie [credits] it has 'best boy?' I thought that I would convince someone that I will be the first 'best girl.'"
She never believed she could actually be a part of it until Quincy Jones, who produced the film, cast Oprah in the role of Sofia.
During the filming of The Color Purple, Oprah recorded all her thoughts and feelings in her journal. In a June 1985 entry, she wrote: "This morning I sat in the tree and I watched everyone else work. I had no scenes today, but I can't wait to be here every day. Just being here—seeing everybody, seeing Alice, Quincy—every day. Just being around Quincy makes me feel joy. This is what it feels like to love, I believe. Everything about The Color Purple feels like love to me."