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Phylicia Rashad Says Tyler Perry 'Kept The Poetry' Of 'For Colored Girls'

Veteran actress Phylicia Rashad is well known for her role as the iconic Claire Huxtable, the regal, warm and loving mom on The Cosby Show that much of America could relate to. However, her latest role as Gilda in Tyler Perry’s For Colored Girls, is the opposite. She’s the nosey neighbor whom some of the other women want to get away from but at the same time, her character forces some of the other ladies to take accountability for their destructive behavior and learn from their mistakes. VIBE caught up with Rashad to briefly chat about what Tyler Perry did to preserve but also enhance the remake of Notzake Shange’s classic choreopoem. ⎯Starrene Rhett

VIBE: Were you a fan of Tyler Perry’s work before getting involved with For Colored Girls?

Phylicia Rashad: I had never worked with him before. I’d seen his films but I had never met him before but that offer came and I said yes.

Which came first for you: did you read the book or did you see the play and what was your response to it?

I saw the original Broadway play. I thought it was amazing how such a story that wasn’t pretty was poetry. Usually poetry is about lofty things and this was the poetry of speech and the movement of everyday people. I found a little bit of it off putting to tell you the truth because it was so angry when I saw it. And I think Tyler Perry has added an element here that wasn’t in the original stage production, and that is the necessity for taking responsibility for one’s own self otherwise you’re just living to die. That’s where he wrote the line [in the film], “You gotta take some responsibility in this. Otherwise you’re just living to die.”

What do you think this adaptation will do for the next generation of women and girls who are just getting introduced to it?

I don’t know, but it’s gonna be very interesting to see. I never really like to predict such things but women and men are responding strongly to this film in positive ways. It is not light fair. It’s something that children undoubtedly need not see but for teenage girls and older.

Based on your own extensive experience with theater and film, what should people keep in mind when it comes to Tyler Perry directing this film as far as empathizing, because some people might go into it expecting exactly what they may have read in the book or saw in the play?

He wanted to honor the original work. He kept the poetry, he didn’t not create something that was at the expense of the poetry. He created stories for each woman that allowed us to see a life in them and the poetry flowed seamlessly in throughout the dialogue. It’s really remarkable and it’s never been done to my knowledge.

What are some of your favorite monologues from the play that made it to the movie?

"Toussaint" is lovely. We don’t hear or see the full of Toussaint in this film because of the children and filming with them and what that was like so it didn’t quite work but it’s okay because it still goes on. I don’t know them by title. I just know I love when Anika’s character, Yasmeen, is saying as she’s walking down the street about dancing and the music and what that was like. I like those things that are up there.

What was preparation like since the movie was so very serious? Were there times on set where you had to take a minute to relax?

You didn’t take a minute to cheer up. You just jumped in and you were there. You were there with other great people so you were not alone. You were never alone. We were with each other and we were with our director and we were with crew, marvelous crew, wonderful people who worked diligently and tirelessly to pull this off, people whose names and faces you don’t see but you cant have a film without them.

How involved was Ntozake Shange in the making of this?

Ntozake Shange had agreed to grant the rights to the film. She wrote the choreopoem For Colored Girls Who Considered Suicide When Rainbow Was Enuf so she was very influential because through everything there was this very sincere and ernest desire on Mr. Perry’s part and all the actresses’ parts to honor her work, to bring a full measure of truth to it.

What do you want people to take away from For Colored Girls, the movie?

Things happen. Some of which you cannot control, some of which you invite knowingly or unknowingly. Consider this: Are we the things that we have done, are we the things that have happened to us, or are we something more?

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Oprah Responds To Viral Video Of Her Eating Unseasoned Chicken

A hilarious old video of Oprah Winfrey making an uncomfortable face as she dives into a piece of unseasoned chicken has been circulating the Internet all week. While these sort of silly videos wouldn't usually garner a response from the billionaire, Oprah surprised everyone when she shared a video explaining the chicken-eating experience and her initial reaction.

To give you some context, the video is a clip from The Oprah Winfrey Show in 2006, in which O invited her guest Anna Ginsberg to make her award-winning chicken dish. After one bite, it became clear that Oprah wasn't too pleased with the chicken's bland taste. She even asked at the time if she could add a little seasoning.

I often think about the time Oprah did a cooking segment with a woman whose chicken recipe won $1 million, and Oprah's jaw dropped when she tasted it and realized the lady didn't even add seasoning pic.twitter.com/rfs7PS1Jc3

— Spencer Althouse (@SpencerAlthouse) December 9, 2018

Now, more than 10 years later, Oprah is setting the record straight. In her new video posted on Instagram on Thursday (Dec. 13), she noted that she likes to provide a pleasurable experience for her guests but also live in her truth. On that particular day, she was presented with a dilemma. "I was having a moment of trying to decide: Do I want her to have a great time? What is my real moment of truth?" she said. "Because the truth for me was that I'm used to having salt and pepper on my chicken. That's just the truth...That's what I was thinking, 'This chicken needs some salt and pepper.'"

So that's that; Oprah has spoken. She may have played it off at the time, but like many others, she would prefer her chicken with seasoning.

 

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Over the weekend, a 2006 video of @oprah tasting an *interesting* chicken dish made its rounds online. We asked the O of O, what REALLY went through her mind as the cameras were on her—and she answered. Swipe left if you haven’t seen the hysterical video! #tbt

A post shared by O, The Oprah Magazine (@oprahmagazine) on Dec 13, 2018 at 7:13am PST

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'Sesame Street' Praised For The Inclusion Of Homeless Character

Sesame Street continues its crusade to include statement-making characters on their block. This time around, families will be introduced to Lily, the show’s first homeless character.

According to USA Today, Lily- an adorable hot pink, red haired puppet- was first introduced to the show in 2011, but in new online clips, Lily opens up about being homeless and staying with friends.

"Now we don't have our own place to live, and sometimes I wonder if we'll ever have our own home," she says to Elmo in one clip. In her initial appearances on the show, Lily discusses her family’s food insecurities, meaning they didn’t have much to eat.

“We know children experiencing homelessness are often caught up in a devastating cycle of trauma – the lack of affordable housing, poverty, domestic violence, or other trauma that caused them to lose their home, the trauma of actually losing their home, and the daily trauma of the uncertainty and insecurity of being homeless,” said Sherrie Westin, President of Global Impact and Philanthropy at Sesame Workshop.

“We want to help disrupt that cycle by comforting children, empowering them, and giving them hope for the future," she continues. "We want them to know that they are not alone and home is more than a house or an apartment – home is wherever the love lives.”

In recent years, Sesame Street has introduced a slew of ground-breaking new characters, including Julia, a puppet with autism, and Alex, a character whose father is incarcerated.

READ MORE: 'Sesame Street' Introduces A Character Who Has A Father In Jail

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Cardi B To Join James Corden On A Forthcoming "Carpool Karaoke" Segment

Your rapper’s favorite rapper Cardi B is slated to make her debut on “Car Pool Karaoke” with James Corden, Billboard reports. The Late Late Show host teased the upcoming episode, which airs Monday (Dec.17) via Instagram along with a small schedule of the show’s upcoming guests.

 

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Here’s what the next two weeks look like on the @latelateshow! Seeing the year out with a bang x x x

A post shared by James Corden (@j_corden) on Dec 10, 2018 at 5:17pm PST

In addition to the “Money” rapper, Amber Heard and Armie Hammer will also appear on the same episode. Corden is closing out the last leg of 2018 strong by having a slew of other prominent stars on the show on the last week before the program goes on break for the holidays. The likes of Gwen Stefani, RuPaul, Jennifer Lopez, Emily Blunt, Leah Remini, Lin-Manuel Miranda, among others will be featured on the show after Bardi’s Monday episode.

To say the least, we're sure the British talk show host and the newly minted Grammy-nominated rapper are going to have the time of their lives.

The 26-year-old's now estranged husband Offset, along with the other members of Migos were guests on the beloved show. Joining Corden as he drove through the streets of Los Angeles, the trio performed a slew of hits including "Walk It Talk It"  while also giving a nod of praise to past hits, including Whitney Houston's "Wanna Dance With Somebody."

With all the fun Migos had with Corden, we can only imagine what shenanigans James and Belcalis are going to get into.

READ MORE: Cardi B Buys Her Mother's House

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