Grammy Winner Jon Batiste to Make Acting Debut

Published April 16th, 2022 - 06:47 GMT
Grammy Winner Jon Batiste to Make Acting Debut
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Jon Batiste, who dominated this year's Grammy Awards with five wins, including Album of the Year, will make his feature acting debut in the musical remake of The Color Purple.

Variety and Deadline reported Friday that Batiste is set to portray Grady in director Blitz Bazawule's upcoming film adaptation of the Broadway musical. Grady, a "debonair, sweet-talking piano man" is the husband of blues singer Shug Avery, who is played by Taraji P. Henson.

The 35-year-old Batiste joins a star-studded cast led by Fantasia Barrino -- also making her feature film debut -- as Celie. Danielle Brooks will portray Sofia in the musical, whose producers include Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey and Quincy Jones.

Other cast members include: Ciara as the adult version of Nettie; Colman Domingo as Mister; Corey Hawkins as Harpo; H.E.R. as Squeak; Louis Gossett Jr. as Ol' Mister; David Alan Grier as Reverend Avery; Tamela J. Mann as First Lady; Phylicia Mpasi as Young Celie; Deon Cole as Alfonso; and Stephen Hill as Buster.

Batiste, who also serves as musical director and bandleader for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, won Album of the Year at the Grammys earlier this month for We Are, and he also topped the nominations with 11 total nods.

The latest version of The Color Purple -- a story based on the 1982 novel by Alice Walker -- was first adapted for Broadway in 2005, and it was later revived as a 2015 Broadway musical.

The Warner Bros. film is slated for a December 2023 theatrical release.


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