Actress Desreta Jackson was just in she preteens when she landed the duty of young Celie in the Steven Spielberg film, The color Purple. Jackson common the role with Whoppi Goldberg, who played the older variation of the character. Jackson moved to the USA at a young period with her family members – she is initially from the british Virgin Islands.

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Jackson is currently working ~ above a heat of hair products and also recently created a publication on the importance of hair. She likewise has a Production agency called, Desicon Pictures. You can learn more about she product heat at and also you have the right to keep up with her jobs at


How go you get the function of young Celie in The color Purple?

I visited an open livestock call in ~ Morningside high school. I was told the they to be holding auditions all roughly the people for a significant movie. I got a contact at the critical minute from my drama teacher. They had submitted my headshots because that me.

An exciting story is the FBI almost took mine headshots away. Ns answered an ad from one acting college that promised to help you put a resume together. Later, I found it was a scam and that the school overcharged united state for the headshots. The job after I obtained my headshots indigenous the school, the FBI came and also shut the institution down. They confiscated every the records and also all the headshots.

Luckily, I acquired my head shots before the raid happened. When The color Purple auditions came up my exhilaration teacher dubbed me and also asked for headshots. I had actually them all set to go.

You were very young as soon as you filmed The color Purple, to be the experience overwhelming for you in ~ all?

No, not at all. The acting was mine escape in ~ the time. Ns was provided to handling plenty of things in ~ a young age. As soon as we very first came come the US, ns was only nine years old, us were homeless and my mother was pregnant. My mommy would, in ~ times, disappear because that days. She would certainly tell me no to open the hotel door for anyone. Ns was basically increasing my little sister, a newborn, and also I would certainly juggle college too.

By the time I landed the role I was a caregiver for 2 babies, going come school and also helping my mommy stay out of what I contact ‘daily drama.’ that is why the experience wasn’t overwhelming. Filming the role was favor a beautiful vacation I never ever wanted come end.


Do you remember the conversations you had actually with Spielberg about the film and your character?

I did plenty of on-screen auditions before being cast. Steven wanted me come make sure I lugged all that character development I showed throughout the auditioning procedure to set. The didn’t desire me to adjust anything.

Were you mindful of who Spielberg was when you acquired the part? had actually you watched E.T. or Indiana Jones already?

I had actually no idea who he was prior to The color Purple. I had actually never unable to do to a movie theater before that. I just thought he to be a chill and also levelheaded director.

Did you have any discussions v Whoopi Goldberg about the character?

No. I shot every my scene first. I hoped us would accomplish up later when she had to shoot she scenes, yet it didn’t work-related out. Then, when the movie released, ns learned many people thought the young Celie component I play was in reality played through Whoopie Goldberg. I think it would be exceptional if we might come together one day and also share ours experiences working on the film.

The color Purple was vital film because that a lot of reasons – as soon as you look earlier at it now – just how do you watch it?

It provided me a legacy. As soon as I very first heard that the dress that ns wore in the film was component of the Smithsonian Museum, i cried. Ns knew the my good grandkids would have the ability to visit the museum and see it. They deserve to say, ‘My great-grandma play Celie, and also that is the dress she wore.’ it is pretty cool.

What kind of feedback perform you obtain from civilization today around your function and the film?

They reach out and also let me know how much mine character adjusted their lives. Most felt favor they could relate to Celie being molested and also the childhood abuse. Since they were going with the same experience as Celie. Some human being share exactly how life-changing it was seeing a dark-skinned tiny girl on display screen in a major film. The made lock feel favor they could come to be an actress. Ns am constantly surprised just how widespread the gender, class and also ethnicity of mine fanbase is. The shade Purple has universal love.

There have actually been discussions, both when the film was released and now, that probably the film should have been command by a black color filmmaker. Where carry out you was standing on that subject today?

It to be a phenomenal book, and also we had actually a phenomenal cast. We had actually an extraordinary manager and an altering anything might have altered the history we made through the film.


When girlfriend look ago at working with Steven Spielberg – what stands the end to you all these years later?

Many things stand out, yet my first beautiful memory was during my auditioning process for the duty of Celie. Ns auditioned in a theater. The auditioning room was packed through girls. As soon as I arrived, a lady approached me and also said Mr. Spielberg desires to review with you. She took me into the theater, and I met him for the first time. He referred to as me to center stage and told me us were going to execute an improvised scene together. Ns remember placing my hands end my mouth when I would certainly smile, and he request me, ‘Why are you covering your smile prefer that?’ I explained that I believed Celie was also uncomfortable to it is in happy and also smile. I wasn’t certain if he chosen that or if ns could include things choose that come the character. However Steven called me to save it. He liked it. After that I organized nothing back.

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What sort of things are you working on today?

I have actually a hair and skin beauty heat called, BlackSilk. We room an all-natural, organic, or plant-based company where whatever we sell are mine formulations. I just create products to heal, grow, or protect. I’m excited about the brand since I just purchased a huge amount of acres and also plan to build every inch of it. I created a book around the prominence of her hair and its link to our universe. I share the scientific research behind hair and also how that is connected to the cosmos as a conductor to our energy and used to help navigate frequency for mind & health. The black color Hair Conspiracy was only on shelves for around three months as soon as I to be contacted through The Blair Cardwell african American Museum and Reference Library. My publication is now part of a distinctive collection for reference on african American hair.