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Jalen Rose and Deon Cole discuss ‘The Color Purple’

But the Chicago native’s career as a comedian, which stretches back to the 1990s, almost never occurred. Deon was, to say the least, a late bloomer.

“I was out of college and high school.” I’d never been a very amusing individual. “That’s why comedy was never on my radar,” he told me on “Renaissance Man.” “I used to think comedians were just jerks who were always on.” Then I started seeing other comics who were ‘in the pocket’…like George Carlin and Ellen DeGeneres.”

Even yet, it required something special to push Deon out of his humorous shell – a $50 wager from a buddy to bring him onstage.

“It took me a while to understand what my friend was saying. ‘OK, let’s go,’ I said one day… For three weeks, I couldn’t get [onstage]. “Once I got on, I was like, ‘Oh, got it.'”

Since that fateful night when Deon “got it,” he hasn’t let go. He’s recently moved away from comedy with a more dramatic part in the 2021 film “The Harder They Fall.” Deon will reprise his role in “The Color Purple” opposite Halle Bailey.

Of course, the way Deon — who has also appeared in ads as the Old Spice guy — found out he won the part is hilarious.

It all started one night in New York City, when he went to watch “MJ: The Musical” with close friend and actress Danielle Brooks. She continued telling Deon after the concert how happy she was to see him in person again — he could sense something was on her mind.

Brooks, who portrays Sofia in “The Color Purple,” eventually informed Deon that he had been cast.

In truth, Deon’s management was still negotiating for the role, and his close buddy inadvertently revealed the entire situation.

“Then, around two days later, I phoned my boss and just informed them about our talk… ‘Yeah, we’ve been talking to them for a long,’ my manager said. ‘Hey, maybe it’ll happen,’ Deon remarked.

“I believe they said right after that, ‘Yeah, I want you to come back.'” And I couldn’t believe it.”

With this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, Deon wants to show Hollywood that he’s more than simply a laugh machine.

“I’m in this acting business for a reason other than humor. “I want to really take it seriously, study, get it together, and really give it my all and see what happens,” he stated. “It’s just a change of pace… something I’ve always wanted to do.”

Deon expressed it plainly when asked what to expect from the new adaptation of “The Color Purple.”

“The truth is, this isn’t the old ‘Color Purple.’ “This ‘Color Purple’ ain’t your mama’s ‘Color Purple,’ it’s a completely different perspective,” he explained. “You’re about to see something you’ve never seen before in cinema.” I can assure you…I’m not making anything up; it’s true.”

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Written by Anthony Peters