Photo: George Burns/Harpo Studios
Quincy Jones, the film's executive producer and composer, is the man who suggested that an unknown named Oprah Winfrey play the role of Sofia. When Quincy first saw Oprah, she was hosting a show called A.M. Chicago with "my bad Jheri curl," she says.
"How did you know that this could become a film?" Oprah asks Quincy. "Because, as Whoopi and I were saying, there was nothing like this ever on the screen."
"Here," he says, as he points to his heart.
At first, Quincy says no one thought he'd convince Steven to direct The Color Purple. "Everybody in town was saying, 'Quincy Jones is out of his mind,'" he says. "He thinks he's going to get the greatest director in the world on his first movie, and he's going to do a black movie before Schindler's List. That's when I found the power of being underestimated."