Danielle Brooks on her Oscar nomination: 'Look What God Has Done'

The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Thursday, June 13, 2024

Danielle Brooks on her Oscar nomination: 'Look What God Has Done'
The actress Danielle Brooks in New York, May 30, 2019. The “Color Purple” supporting actress was nominated for a Tony for the role on Broadway. Still, she spent six months auditioning for the part in the movie..(Celeste Sloman/The New York Times)

by Alexis Soloski

NEW YORK, NY.- It was 3:30 a.m. in New Zealand, where actress Danielle Brooks was filming a Minecraft movie. But she was wide awake.

“I’m alive and I am an Oscar nominee today,” she said on a video call minutes after the nominations were announced. “I don’t think I’ll be able to go back to sleep.”

Brooks, a past Emmy nominee, Tony nominee and Grammy winner who broke out in “Orange Is the New Black,” is nominated for her supporting actress work in the movie musical “The Color Purple.” Hers is the film’s sole nomination. She plays Sofia, an outspoken woman who knows her own worth and insists on her own autonomy, qualities that make her a target of racialized violence. She first played the part on Broadway in 2015, in a defiant, exuberant turn that The New York Times likened to a “homemade steamroller.” Her film work is perhaps even more irresistible.

Swathed in zebra-print sleepwear, Brooks, 34, discussed, with occasional tears, the joy of the nomination, the differences between theater and film and how she learned to say “Hell, No,” in her own life. These are edited excerpts from the conversation.

Q: How does it feel to be an Oscar nominee?

A: It’s like getting the MVP at the Super Bowl. Crazy. It’s what I always just hoped and dreamed would happen, but for it to actually happen, I’m in shock! It’s like what it says in “The Color Purple”: “Look what God has done.”

Q: What did you learn from playing Sofia on Broadway?

A: There was such an electricity in the theater, people just had to come see the show. I felt so much pressure. It was playing Sofia, this strong woman who was so sure of herself, that gave me the confidence, every night when I sang “Hell, No,” to say hell, no to my fears. She taught me how to live in my power. Getting to do it on the screen, that’s when I learned how to own my power. People assume that actors have all this confidence and are just brave people, which we are, but we get to hide behind characters. Now I can stand 10 toes down and believe in my heart that I’m worthy of moments like this.

Q: You were a Tony nominee for that Broadway performance. You won a Grammy. But I’ve read that your audition process for the film took six months. Did you have to fight for the role?

A: I did. But I came in with no ego, because as much as I wanted to scream from the rooftops, scream all those accolades, there was no reason for that. Because part of our job is to audition. I didn’t want anyone to say that I was handed a role. I wasn’t handed anything. I worked my butt off for that role for six months doing chemistry reads, recording songs, having meetings. I did whatever they asked me to do. And it didn’t miss me. The blessing didn’t miss me. I’m grateful that I did remove ego. Because here we are today.

Q: How did making the film feel different?

A: When I was doing it in theater, all we had were wooden chairs and a wooden stage. So I used my imagination. But with this I got all the elements I could ever want. I’m actually in the Georgian sun on a plantation. That sets me right where I need to be. It was the biggest gift as an actor. And now today, to be standing in this position, the only one from this movie to get nominated, I’m very humbled. I just feel like there are so many people I’m standing in for who are so deserving and have worked so hard, every cast and crew member who was out there in the beating 90-degree weather, this is for them.

Q: Since you played Sofia in 2015, there’s been a greater cultural focus on racialized violence. Did that influence your work?

A: Sofia’s a radical woman; she’s trying to break generational curses. She’s trying to build her family. She’s trying to build a home and get out of these norms we set for gender roles. That, to me, is a woman ahead of her time. To have so much gumption to say, I’m not going to take no mess from anybody, no matter what shape, size, color, creed you are, I’m going to walk how I want to walk. That is so powerful. And that’s what we need as women. We need examples of that in our storytelling, for people to lean on.

Q: Since you first played the role, you’ve become a mother, a wife. Did that inform this Sofia?

A: It deepens the work. I now know truly what sacrifices it takes to be married and hold on to a relationship when the world is just fighting against Black love. I also know the sacrifice of bringing a child in this world. It takes a lot of work! When I played Beatrice (in “Much Ado About Nothing,” 2019) at Shakespeare in the Park, I was five months pregnant with my child, and that was the most freedom I’ve ever had. Having her in my womb reminded me that I’m not alone. And I can do this because now I have someone to do this for. When she was on (“The Color Purple”) set with me, it was the same: I’m not alone and I have someone to do this for.

Q: Your big number is “Hell, No.” Speaking as a woman who apologizes preemptively for everything, I loved it so much. I should apply its lesson more. Do you apply it in your own life?

A: Hell, yeah! It’s the greatest gift to honor what you want as a human being. As women, we apologize for everything. We walk by somebody in the elevator, and we’re like, Oops, sorry. And we have no reason to say sorry! We are trained to be apologetic, to shrink ourselves, to say, oh, my presence shouldn’t be in the room. That’s so not true. We should be strutting around just like Sofia and her sisters, speak up for ourselves and stop apologizing. That’s why I’m so grateful for Sofia. Every character gives you a gift when you play them. And that’s what she taught me. All I need is to validate myself. I don’t need validation from anyone else. I am so grateful for that. But it has to come from me first.

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.

Today's News

January 25, 2024

Carl Andre, austerely minimalist sculptor, is dead at 88

An English mystery: What killed 7 giant tortoises found in the forest?

Frank Farian, the man behind Milli Vanilli, is dead at 82

Why was Greta Gerwig snubbed for a Best Director nomination?

1st Festival of Lights in Wallonia to host work by British artist Robert Montgomery

Celebrating 'Bloomberg New Contemporaries' can be seen at Camden Art Centre

Gallery Delaive presenting 'Ayako Rokkaku: Dreams in My Hand' at Hangaram Museum of Art in Seoul

Art Brussels 2024 marks milestone 40th Edition: Unveiling an International Spectrum

'Takesada Matsutani and Kate Van Houten: Paris Prints 1967 – 1978' now showing at Hauser & Wirth

130 years since the birth of architect Aino Aalto

MAGMA Gallery set to open exhibition of works by Nicola Facchini

The cosmic genius of Iris Van Herpen

Artist & Curator Conversation for launching of 'Hangama Amiri: A Homage to Home' at Kemper Museum

Ghostwriters emerge from the shadows

'Local Ties' acquisition of contemporary works by Seattle artists announced

Edouard Sacaillan 'Les toits de Paris' is now having a solo at Kalfayan Galleries

The 13th Austrian Frederick Kiesler Prize for Architecture and the Arts goes to Junya Ishigami

'Oppenheimer' leads the way with 13 Oscar nominations

Danielle Brooks on her Oscar nomination: 'Look What God Has Done'

Charles Osgood, lyrical newscaster on radio and TV, dies at 91

Artists who performed as the Soft Moon and Silent Servant die in Los Angeles

William Villalongo exhibition opens today at Grinnell College Museum of Art

Exploring Popular Art Styles in 2023: From Ancient Mythology to Modern Portraits

Elevating Ink: Alena Zozulenko's Artistry in Tattooing

How To Spot A Fake Online Casino?

Some Intriguing Features Of Slot Online Games

Leather watch bands stylish and durable

How Has Technology Revolutionized The Landscape Of Cosmetic Surgery Procedures?

Unlocking Excellence with Kimbet77: Your Trusted Source for Premium Services

Publishing Pitfalls to Avoid: Common Mistakes in the Book Creation Process

Empowering Businesses: The Fennemore Legacy Under James Goodnow

Unlimited Joy Awaits: VIDMATE Mod APK - Your Gateway to a Video Wonderland

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez
Writer: Ofelia Zurbia Betancourt

Truck Accident Attorneys
Accident Attorneys

Royalville Communications, Inc

ignaciovillarreal.org juncodelavega.com facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. Hommage
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site Parroquia Natividad del Señor
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful