“I was struck by how vulnerable he was and how uncertain he [seemed],” Magnoli revealed as he recalled being with Prince at his home.
The director refined his pitch before detailing what the film was about, which follows a tormented musician on his rise to fame as he struggles with an abusive situation at home as well as dealing with tensions with his love life and band.
After hearing the pitch, Prince told Magnoli, “How is it that you just told me my life story in the last 10 minutes?”
Things went smoothly while filming the project. Although, the director did share that it was tough filming during autumn in Minneapolis.
“The blistering cold was something no one predicted. Just getting to a set was rough,” he said.
Magnoli recalled one scene in which Apollonia Kotero, playing Prince’s love interest, jumps into a lake.
“I mean, Apollonia [Kotero] jumped into the lake and came out and was just frozen. There was no way I could ask her to go in again — she almost had a heart attack!”
Purple Rain went on to become a box office success and landed Prince an Academy Award for Best Original Song Score.