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Fantasia Barrino Says She Hopes to Star in “John Wick”-Like Film: 'I Want Something Where I Can Kick Ass'

Fantasia Barrino makes her feature film debut in the new movie musical 'The Color Purple,' in which she plays Celie, a character she played on Broadway

<p>Matt Baron/BEI/Shutterstock; Lionsgate/Kobal/Shutterstock </p> Fantasia Barrino and Keanu Reeves in

Matt Baron/BEI/Shutterstock; Lionsgate/Kobal/Shutterstock

Fantasia Barrino and Keanu Reeves in 'John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum'

Fantasia Barrino wants to swerve into a new genre with her next movie role.

When Barrino, 39, spoke with Variety at ELLE's Women in Hollywood Awards in Los Angeles on Tuesday, the actor and singer spoke to her hopes for future movie roles after making her big-screen debut in The Color Purple.

“I want something very challenging,” Barrino told the outlet. “I want to step out and do a character you’d probably never think of me as. I want you to hate me.”

In The Color Purple, Barrino plays lead character Celie, a Black woman living in the Jim Crow south who the film follows throughout her life. Barrino previously portrayed the character on Broadway in the mid-2000s; Whoopi Goldberg originally played Celie on screen in Steven Spielberg's original 1985 film adaptation of The Color Purple book.

Barrino said she'd be game for a role in something as action-packed as Keanu Reeves' John Wick movie series. “Was John Wick a villain? Maybe not, but he was kick-ass," she told the outlet. "I want something where I can kick ass!”

Related: The Color Purple: Oprah, Fantasia and All the Stars Who Attended the Movie Musical's Los Angeles Premiere

<p>Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty</p> Fantasia Barrino on April 25, 2023

Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty

Fantasia Barrino on April 25, 2023

Barrino is best known for her career in music, spawned when she won the third season of American Idol at just 19 years old in 2004. She has taken multiple Broadway roles over the years and released seven studio albums. The Color Purple marked a return to a character that she was initially hesitant to revisit.

"I want to thank Celie, a role that I ran from. And when they called me, I said I was not coming back to play," she told the audience while taking the stage with her costars Taraji P. Henson and Danielle Brooks at Tuesday's event. "But it wasn't until our great director [Blitz Bazawule] called me and said, 'I'm giving Celie an imagination,' and I said, 'Okay, I'm in.' "

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"Because I was a young lady that went through a lot of things and lost a lot, and lost everything twice," she added. "I never thought I would be back here in front of y'all."

Related: Taraji P. Henson Recalls Voting for Fantasia on American Idol So Many Times Her 'Finger Went Numb' (Exclusive)

<p>Arturo Holmes/Getty</p> Fantasia Barrino on June 30, 2023

Arturo Holmes/Getty

Fantasia Barrino on June 30, 2023

Aside from Barrino, Henson and Brooks, The Color Purple movie musical also stars Halle Bailey, Louis Gossett Jr., Corey Hawkins, David Alan Grier, Colman Domingo, Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor, H.E.R., Ciara, Jon Batiste and Deon Cole.

"Because of Celie, I'm standing here and I want to speak to all of the Celies in the room tonight who didn't think you could make it out of certain situations," Barrino said at Tuesday's event. "All of my Black women who felt like you were not pretty enough [or] you didn't have what it takes."

The Color Purple is in theaters Dec. 25.

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