Oprah Winfrey received a blessing from the late Maya Angelou to develop the upcoming Martin Luther King, Jr. biopic Selma. Writer/poet Angelou, who died last week (28May14), was an activist during the U.S. civil rights movement and worked with King before his assassination in 1968. The TV titan is producing and starring in a film which centres on King’s voting rights campaign in 1965, and she reveals Angelou assured her the project was worth fighting for.
In her first interview since Angelou’s passing, Winfrey told Entertainment Tonight, “She was so proud that I was doing this movie and she said, ‘Take it baby, take it all the way.’ She was a part of the movement , worked with Martin Luther King Jr., understood what we were trying to do with this film.”
Winfrey was brought to tears while talking about her friend of nearly 40 years, but insisted she wants to celebrate Angelou’s life rather than just mourn her loss. She explained, “I have absolutely no regrets. It is so well with my soul because I celebrated her life. And I just had an hour conversation with her. Our last words were ‘I love you babe.’
“There were no words left unsaid, nothing was ever missing that I wanted to share or experience with her. I feel like I will miss her physical presence but her spirit, I can feel it rising in me.” Winfrey also revealed she is set to give a eulogy at Angelou’s memorial service in Winston-Salem, North Carolina on Saturday (07Jun14).