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10 fascinating facts about Prince's film career

Images: Warner Bros.

It's hard to believe that Prince has been gone for two years. But today we're remembering him on his birthday.

There is no denying that The Kid made a huge impact on the music world — after all, he's one of the highest selling recording artists of all time. Let's talk about his film career, though. From compiling soundtracks, to acting, to discovering up-and-coming starlets… what didn't Prince contribute?

What's your favorite Prince film? Discuss in the comments!

1

Prince didn’t want bad dancers in 'Purple Rain.'

Members of the Revolution and Morris Day and the Time begrudgingly attended mandatory dance classes at the Minnesota Dance Theatre because Prince wanted to make sure they were in shape for filming. However, he eventually eased up and stopped forcing them to attend.

Image: Giphy

2

'Purple Rain' was (obviously) critically acclaimed.

Despite being nominated for two Razzie Awards, Purple Rain won many prestigious awards. The movie won the Academy Award for Best Original Song Score and Best Original Musical. Prince himself won the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture. The soundtrack won the American Music Awards for Favorite Pop/Rock Album and Favorite Soul/R&B Album. Prince and the Revolution won the Grammy Awards for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal and Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media.

The week of July 27, 1984, Purple Rain was the No. 1 movie at the box office, the soundtrack was No. 1 selling record, and “When Doves Cry” was the No. 1 single in the country.

Image: Giphy

3

Apollonia’s part in 'Purple Rain' was meant for Vanity.

However, Denise Matthews, better known as Vanity of Vanity 6, left the group just before filming started. Rather than just having someone else play the character, the script was changed up, revising a lot of scenes for then-unknown Apollonia Kotero. Prior, she had taken small roles in shows like CHiPS, Knight Rider and Fantasy Island, but caught Prince’s eye in an episode of Tales of the Gold Monkey.

Image: Giphy

4

Kotero wasn’t the only actress Prince helped reach stardom.

Before 1986’s Under the Cherry Moon, Kristin Scott Thomas had never been in a feature film. Though her performance as Mary Sharon was criticized, she had no trouble booking dozens of roles throughout the rest of the ’80s, ‘90s and 2000s. 

Image: Giphy

5

Graffiti Bridge was a real place.

The 1990 semi-sequel to Purple Rain got its name from a bridge located in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. Though there are multiple Prince-related landmarks to check out in the area, this unfortunately isn’t one of them. Graffiti Bridge was torn down in 1991.

Image: Giphy

6

If the motorcycle the Kid rides in 'Graffiti Bridge' looked familiar…

…that’s because it’s the same model as the one used in Purple Rain. Only it’s painted black instead of purple.

Image: Giphy

7

If you ever wondered how he got wrapped up with Batman…

Rumor has it that Prince worked on the soundtrack to Tim Burton’s Batman because he had a thing for Kim Basinger. That certainly isn’t out of the realm of possibility, as she actually moved to Minneapolis around that time and recorded an album with him that was sadly never released. However, they did release a couple of raunchy singles.

Image: Giphy

8

His girlfriend never played his love interest.

He was dating Vanity during Purple Rain, Susannah Melvin during Under the Cherry Moon and Kim Basinger during Graffiti Bridge. While all of these women were offered the opportunity to play opposite him, it never worked out. Madonna was also considered for Under the Cherry Moon and Graffiti Bridge, but she also never panned out.

Image: Giphy

9

Everyone got star-struck by Prince.

Showgirls gets a bad rap, but it was good enough for Prince! He allowed two of his songs to be used in the film, and according to VH1, Elizabeth Berkley, who played Nomi Malone ran into him at Tower Records before the movie was released. Apparently, he greeted her, saying “Hi, Nomi.”

Image: Giphy

10

Prince + Star Wars?

OK, so he had nothing to do with the Star Wars films, but he did perform at creator George Lucas’ wedding in 2013. 

Image: Giphy

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