John Travolta, Not Prince, Was the First Choice for Lead Role in ‘Purple Rain’ Movie

"I looked at Prince's managers and thought, ‘This is what I'm talking about. Welcome to this world.'"

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.

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