Based on the award-winning 1974 stage play “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf” by Ntozake Shange, For Colored Girls interconnects nine stories of American black women. Tyler Perry wrote the screenplay, which includes poetry, dance, and music, and directed the film as his tenth feature for Lionsgate Entertainment.
About Janet Jackson
Janet Jackson (Why Did I Get Married, Why Did I Get Married Too?, Poetic Justice) stars as Jo, a high-powered businesswoman determined to forget her humble origins. Focused entirely on her future, Jo looks down on anyone or anything that reminds her of the past.
In addition to her film roles, Jackson had long-term starring and supporting roles in the television series Good Times, Diff’rent Strokes, and Fame. Also a successful singer, songwriter, and dancer, she is ranked as one of the top ten best-selling artists in the history of contemporary music.
About Loretta Devine
Loretta Devine (Crash, Waiting to Exhale, Death at a Funeral) has the role of Juanita, a caring nurse at a Harlem health clinic for women. She hands out condoms, advice, and empowering ideas to her clients, but struggles with her own powerlessness in a romantic relationship.
Devine had been offered a different role in the stage play in 1976, but declined because of conflicts with graduate school. Her extensive credits include roles in theater, film, and television.
About Kimberly Elise
Kimberly Elise (Beloved, The Great Debaters, The Manchurian Candidate) plays Crystal, the long-time girlfriend of an angry Vietnam veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder who fathered her two children. Resigned to living with an abuser, she can’t protect herself or her children.
Elise also starred in Tyler Perry’s Diary of a Mad Black Woman, in addition to other roles in television and film. Elise won two NAACP Image Awards for Best Actress among many other honors.
About Thandie Newton
Thandie Newton (2012, Beloved, Crash) portrays Tangie, a saucy bartender who preys on men where she works – essentially turning the tables on them by loving them then leaving them. Physically beautiful, though emotionally flawed, Tangie throws men away as soon as she’s finished with them.
Newton’s diverse film career has included comedies including Run Fat Boy Run opposite Hank Azaria and Simon Pegg, the drama W. (as Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice), and Jonathan Demme’s action film The Truth About Charlie, a contemporary take on Stanley Donen’s 1963 Charade.
About Phylicia Rashad
Phylicia Rashad (best known as Claire Huxtable on The Cosby Show) co-stars as the building manager Gilda. Witnessing the violence in Crystal’s apartment, Gilda feels compelled to report the abuse to the child welfare agency.
Rashad has extensive credits in theater and television, in addition to roles in the feature films Once Upon a Time When We Were Colored, Free of Eden, Loving Jezebel, and The Visit. She also participates in a variety of charitable and nonprofit organizations including Broadway Inspirational Voices.
About Anika Noni Rose
Anika Noni Rose (The Princess & the Frog, The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency, Dreamgirls) plays Yasmine, a dance instructor and mentor to teenaged girls. Her dance studio is in the same community center as Juanita’s health clinic.
Rose is a Tony Award winner and Obie Award winner nominated for three Academy Awards. She has sung all over the world, and is currently re-working the classic musical On a Clear Day You Can See Forever with director Michael Mayer.
About Tessa Thompson
Tessa Thompson (Mississippi Damned, When A Stranger Calls, Grey’s Anatomy) has the role of Nyla, Tangie’s younger sister. Her character endures a fall from grace that leads to a fundamental change in her family relationships.
Thompson, who got her start in theater, also appeared in several television series and sings in LA Ladies Choir, a folk rock group based in Los Angeles where she resides.
About Kerry Washington
Kerry Washington (Night Catches Us, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Ray) portrays Kelly, a social worker sent to check on Crystal’s children. Her own frustrated desire to have children with her husband complicates her emotional attachment to her job.
Washington has garnered awards for her film, television, and theater work, and is the spokesperson for L’Oreal Paris. She’s also known for her public service, which includes being an active member of the V-Council, a group of advisors to V-Day, a global movement to end violence against women and girls. In 2009, Washington was appointed to the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities.
About Whoopi Goldberg
Whoopi Goldberg (The Color Purple, Ghost, Sister Act) has received an Academy Award, a Grammy, the Golden Globe, the Emmy, and a Tony. This versatile actress, producer, comedian, author, and humanitarian plays the part of Alice, a religious fanatic desperate to save the residents of Harlem.
Goldberg, who currently moderates television’s The View, also has starred in her own HBO specials, and hosted many prestigious events, including “A Gala for the President at Ford’s Theatre,” “Comic Relief,” Academy Awards telecasts, and the Tony Awards.
The Male Actors in For Colored Girls
Men, of course, cause much of the turmoil in these women’s lives. The male actors in the film include Michael Ealy (Barbershop, Barbershop 2, Seven Pounds), Hill Harper (award-winning actor, best-selling author, philanthropist, and one of People Magazine’s “Sexiest Men Alive”), Omari Hardwicke (Kick-Ass, The A-Team), Richard Lawson (How Stella Got Her Groove Back, Guess Who), and Khalil Kain (Girlfriends, The Tiger Woods Story).
For Colored Girls
- Based on the stage play “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow is Enuf,” this movie combines poetry, dance, and music to share the black female experience.
- Starring Janet Jackson, Loretta Devine, Michael Ealy, Kimberly Elise, Omari Hardwick, Hill Harper, Thandie Newton, Phylicia Rashad, Anika Noni Rose, Tessa Thompson, Kerry Washington, Whoopi Goldberg, Macy Gray
- Director: Tyler Perry
- Writers: Tyler Perry (screenplay); Ntozake Shange (stage play)
- Run Time: 120 minutes
- Rating: R (for some disturbing violence including a rape, sexual content, and language)
- Release Date: November 5, 2010
To learn more about For Colored Girls, read For Colored Girls Movie Fast Facts and visit the film’s official website.