Oprah Winfrey spoke to Entertainment Tonight on Wednesday (December 6th) at the Los Angeles premiere of The Color Purple. Winfrey was nominated for an Academy Award for her role as Sofia in the 1985 version of the film.

“Whenever Alice Walker wrote this in 1982 when it was first released, it put something into the world that was deeply meaningful, powerful, resilient, hopeful,” she said. “I think that that message of forgiveness and joy is always needed.”

Commenting on what the role meant to her, she said, “Sofia had the power back in the 1920s. Not many women had that or had the agency, as we now refer to, to be able to do that for themselves, but I loved playing that character.”

She added, “Playing that character changed me, and one of the great joys for me was to be on set watching Danielle Brooks take it on and make it her own.”

The Color Purple is scheduled to be released in theaters on December 25th.