Taraji P. Henson is gushing about being a day-one supporter of her “The Color Purple” costar Fantasia Barrino.
“I’ve always been a fan of hers, and I was a huge champion for her on ‘American Idol,’” the Golden Globe-winning actress shared during her conversation with PEOPLE at the Critics Choice Association’s Celebration of Cinema & Television: Honoring Black, Latino, and AAPI Achievements in Century City, Calif.
“I voted as many times as I could, finger went numb. And also my grandfather, who passed away about 20 years ago, was a huge fan of hers. So I’m showing love through him to her,” the “Hidden Figures” star recalled.
In 2004, then-19-year-old Barrino became the youngest contestant to win the reality musical competition series. She surpassed runner-up Diana DeGarmo by 1.3 million votes and received significant praise from judge Simon Cowell throughout her time on the show.
Barrino and Henson are set to appear as Celie and Shug Avery, respectively, in the upcoming film adaptation of “The Color Purple” based on Alice Walker’s 1982 novel.
The film features an ensemble cast including Halle Bailey, Danielle Brooks, Colman Domingo, Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor, H.E.R., Ciara, Louis Gossett Jr., Corey Hawkins, Jon Batiste, David Alan Grier, and Deon Cole. It’s scheduled to hit theaters this Christmas.
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