Prince made his acting debut playing The Kid in 1984's Purple Rain, a quasi-autobiographic film. In an interview with Rolling Stone, director Albert Magnoli reveals that the Purple One was originally not the first choice to play the film's lead. In a meeting with the studio head and other executives, other big name actors at the time were supposed to take the lead instead. Magnoli recalls:
"[Execs]: 'Is it possible to ask if John Travolta can play Prince?' I looked at [Prince's managers] and thought, ‘This is what I'm talking about. Welcome to this world.' [...] I said to the Warners guys, 'Guys, this is not going to happen. This is unacceptable. What we have going for us is authenticity.' [...] The development people came to me and said, 'The script is sexist and misogynistic and violent and erotic, and it puts down women.' They're looking at a PG-13 concept. I'm saying, 'No, it's an R. It's a brutal story with a lot of darkness in it.'"
Check out the rest of the interview here.