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Colman Domingo on Waking Up to Phone Call From Oprah Winfrey


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Good news sounds even better coming from Oprah Winfrey.

In February, the icon made surprise video calls to several actors to let them know they’d been cast in the musical version of The Color Purpleincluding Danielle Brooks, who broke down in tears. Winfrey, who appeared in the 1985 film and is producing the new iteration alongside Steven Spielberg, Quincy Jones and Scott Sanders, also called Colman Domingo.

The latter told THR at the recent Spirit Awards that he literally had to pinch himself: “She called me while I was taking a nap,” he recalled at the event, where he was nominated for his work in Zola. “I woke up and was like, who’s calling me? It was Oprah.”

Hollywood has been calling Domingo a lot lately, too. In addition to The Color Purple, his run as of late includes Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Candyman, Euphoria, his long run on Fear the Walking Dead and the upcoming Rustin. “At 52 years old, I do recognize that it finally feels like an incredible moment for me in my career where people have taken notice of what I actually do,” he explained of the experience. “For a long time, I felt like I was hiding in corners, but I think the jig is up. I can walk into rooms and people know exactly who I am, and I don’t have to prove myself so much anymore; my body of work stands for itself.”

That body expands to the stage once again as Austin’s Ground Floor Theatre recently announced the cast for his play Dot, which he wrote and will be directed by Lisa B. Thompson. In conjunction with news of the play’s cast, Domingo said, “Lisa and her personal journey have also been a key inspiration for a few of the themes of this play, which centers on a family’s darkly comedic struggle with a parent’s health issue and how it affects the whole family. I think audiences in one of my favorite cities are in for a real treat.”

A version of this story first appeared in the March 30 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.

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