Oprah Winfrey was already one of the world’s wealthiest media moguls, but she was hoping to bring some of her success to Hollywood.
But when a movie she loved failed at the box office, she was more hurt than ever.
Oprah Winfrey always wanted to be an actress
Winfrey’s passion has always been broadcast journalism. Her dedication to the field and work ethic eventually led her to become a hostess AM Chicago, where she proved her worth as a journalist. The talk show went from declining ratings to more viewers than ever after Winfrey was brought on board. But apart from that AM Chicago Since it was the beginning of Winfrey’s rise to fame, it also gave the mogul her first on-screen role.
AM Chicago offered Winfrey the opportunity to play along The colour purple. This was a special moment for the talk show host as she was already a fan of the film’s source material. When she heard that a movie based on the novel was being made, she wanted to be a part of it.
“People said, ‘Somebody’s going to make a movie about it.’ And I’m like, ‘God, you gotta get me in this movie.’ Well I had never been in a movie before. I didn’t know anything about movies. But I started praying to be in the movie. I wanted to try to get into that movie,” she once told Collider.
She finally landed the role after seeing her, produced and written by Quincy Jones, who produced and wrote the soundtrack for the film AM Chicago.
“He had a red eye and just got out of the shower and turned on the TV in his hotel room. I was on AM Chicago and Quincy Jones saw me doing it and he said, ‘This is Sofia,'” she recalled.
Oprah Winfrey once felt “devastated” after starring in Beloved
Winfrey had a few credits in TV movies and shows after her successful role The colour purple. But maybe Lover was the presenter’s first really big film role after the Spielberg feature film. Lover is based on the novel of the same name by Toni Morrison about a ghost that haunts a dysfunctional family.
After reading the book, Winfrey reached out to the author personally to ask if she could do it Lover into a movie. Although Morrison had her doubts that the book would become a film, she eventually agreed to Winfrey’s request.
Lover received positive reviews but did not do as well at the box office as she had hoped. Winfrey confided in him Lover‘s box office appearance sent her into a deep funk.
“I was really excited. I didn’t know you only have one weekend and then it’s over. So it came out on a Friday and that Saturday morning I got a call and they said, ‘This is it,'” she said. “I got the call at about 8:30 a.m. and by 10:30 a.m. I had my face in a bowl of macaroni and cheese. I literally went into a numbing depression about it, and I was like that for a long time. It was 1998 and I remember thinking, ‘I think I’m depressed, but who can I go to?’”
Winfrey decided to try turning to her faith to cheer her spirits up.
“I remember saying to myself, ‘I’m going to pray my way out. And if I can’t and I don’t feel better in a month, then I’ll try to figure out how to get help. I still had to go to work every day. I was devastated,” she said.
What Oprah Winfrey learned about the film industry after Beloved
Winfrey stayed in this state of mind for six weeks before finally recovering from it. Her remedy was to focus on all the good things in her life instead of paying so much attention to her box office debacle.
“That’s when the gratitude practice got really strong for me because it’s hard to stay sad when you’re focused on what you have instead of what you don’t have,” she once said in an interview with Vogue.
The Butler star also learned an important lesson regarding movies and box office results.
“It taught me never again, never again, never put all your hopes, expectations, eggs in the box office basket,” she said. “Do the work as a sacrifice, and then whatever happens happens.”
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