Sheryl Lee Ralph On 'Dreamgirls'

Aleska emailed me a link to an interview Rocka.Candy (you should add this site to your bookmarks if you already haven't by the way) held with Sheryl Lee Ralph a little while back. In the interview, she gives Rock her two cents on the 2006 version of 'Dreamgirls.' She had a lot of very interesting things to say. Check it:

Rocka.Candy: How do you feel about Dreamgirls getting the Hollywood treatment?

Sheryl Lee Ralph: It's hard. Believe or not in the 1980's when Dreamgirls opened we completely changed theater, we changed who came to the theater, and who was interested in theater. And now 25 years later, people find it so easy to act like we didn't do what we did. Loretta Divine and Vondie Curtis Hall were in the original company, there were some great folks who are still working today.

R.C: How do you feel about Beyonce portraying the role you originally bought to life - Deena Jones?

SLR: It's interesting, when Tom Eyen who is the creator, had this idea, he said that the Dreams, have to be three obviously black girls. Why? Because America will always go for that light, bright, long haired black girl because they will feel comfortable building her up, since they see themselves in her.

But for the obviously black girl, if she makes it, she deserves to be right there. Because they aren't trying to push her, that's why the Dreams had to be three obviously black girls.

So when they cast Beyonce in the role of Deena Jones. I said, "Wow, this is exactly what Tom Eyen said would happen." They going to take to that light, bright blackish blonde girl because they feel comfortable with her. That's the reality.

R.C: Who would you have cast as Deena Jones?

SLR: That's hard because the industry isn't pushing her, so you don't have an obvious one to pick from. The closest one I can think of, that's an obvious black girl with that glamour thing to her is Lauryn Hill. Heather Headley is kind of close but she's not Deena. You know Deena is Diana Ross, she's a drama girl, an out right glamour girl. (continue to read)

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