Actress Opens Up About Auditioning 'Horribly' For Oprah's Role In 'Beloved'

"I thought I was real fly and that I would not read the book..."

Lisa Nicole Carson is an actress whose resume ― which includes TV shows like “Ally McBeal” and “ER,” and movies like “Devil in a Blue Dress” and “Life” ― makes it seem as if she’s been in the entertainment industry for decades. This assumption, she says, is a bit deceptive.

“I really haven’t had a long career,” Carson tells “Oprah: Where Are They Now?” in a recent interview. “I had a lot of stuff happen, like, in 10 years.”

As Carson’s successes grew, the actress found herself with more and more opportunities to read for various movie roles. One such part was that of Sethe in 1998’s “Beloved,” a complex drama adapted from a novel by Toni Morrison about a former slave haunted by a ghost as well as her past. Carson went out for the role back then, but her audition for “Beloved” didn’t quite land.

“I thought I was real fly and that I would not read the book,” Carson says. “So, I went in five times and auditioned horribly. I think I played young Sethe sexy...”

Oprah Winfrey ended up playing Sethe instead and was praised for her “brave, deep” performance. When Carson actually saw the film, she says she couldn’t help but cringe thinking of her own misguided audition.

“I’d see the movie and I’m like, ‘Why?’” Carson chuckles. “’Why did you do that?’”

Another audition story:



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