Busta’s Person of the Week: Triad actor ‘spills the tea’ about filming The Color Purple

Actor Junious L. Leak

Busta’s Person of the Week: Triad actor ‘spills the tea’ about filming The Color Purple
January 09
09:36 2020

By Busta Brown

“When I walked on the set of ‘The Color Purple,’ everyone asked, ‘Who are you?’ I didn’t want to appear arrogant or egotistical, so I just shared my movie and theater bio and kept it humble,” said actor Junious Leak. Let your bio and work do the talking, stay humble, and keep it moving. 

Junious Leak is a very modest man as well. “I was just a glorified extra on the set of ‘The Color Purple.’ Most of the actors were on a much higher level than me,” he said. It was that kind of modesty that caught the attention of two of the iconic film’s biggest stars. 

Leak was a star in his own right. Along with “The Color Purple,” he was the diner owner in the 90’s classic, “The Patron Saint of Liars.” Junious also had a role the 1976 classic “Date with a Kidnapper” and a plethora of theatrical productions. So he’s no stranger to the film and theater industry. 

But when he met one of his favorite actors, Danny Glover, it was one his most humbling experiences. “Danny was so down to earth and real. I didn’t know how to approach him; to me, he was bigger than life,” Leak said with a very warm tone. 

When most of us think of Danny in “The Color Purple,” it’s in that famous scene when Albert broke Celie’s heart. Nearly every black woman in America was infuriated with Danny Glover, which proved his acting skills to be masterful. According to Junious Leak, Albert and Danny are two totally different men. While on the set of “The Color Purple,” Junious Leak met Danny Glover. “He was the best, one of the kindest and most thoughtful people I’ve met. He and Adolph Caesar didn’t make me feel like I was beneath them, yet they welcomed me with open arms. They introduced me to the cast, which made it easier for me to get to know everyone else,” said the veteran actor. Adolph Caesar was Glover’s father in the film and women were upset with his character as well, which also proved his mastery as an actor. 

He also praised Oscar, Tony, Emmy and Grammy winner Whoopie Goldberg. “She was totally down to earth. She wasn’t pretentious at all, on or off the set. There were days we filmed for hours and hours and we’d ask Whoopie to say something funny, and she would do it. She had the entire set laughing out loud daily, Junious related.  

Junious hasn’t worked in TV, film or on the stage since 2014. His last roles were in the theatrical productions “A Christmas Carol” in 2012 and “The Member of the Wedding” in 2014. I asked him, what does he miss most about acting? “Everything to do with acting. It’s what I love and was born to do. I had a desire to be an actor in elementary school, but I was too shy and that held me back. I used to impersonate cartoon characters and some of my favorite actors, such Sydney Poitier. I realized if I’m going to make this happen, I had to come out of my shyness.” 

He attended NC A&T, where he received a degree in professional theater. He credits his professor, NC A&T theater arts founder, Dr John Marshall Kilimanjaro, for breaking him out of his shyness. “He and I butted heads quit often, because he wanted me to be more than I was. He pushed me to be great and taught me everything I know about theater. He recently passed away,” Leak said with a heavy heart. 

I asked Junious Leak what is his dream role and he replied, “To recreate my role in ‘The Color Purple’ and make it bigger.” 

You can contact Junious Leak on Facebook.

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