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Dreamgirls (2006) Poster

(2006)

Trivia

Cameo 

Durrell Babbs: one of the chorus singers for the "Patience" recording session.
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Bill Condon instructed Jennifer Hudson to show up late on set every day to better understand Effie's diva behavior.
Bill Condon scheduled "And I'm Telling You I'm Not Going" as the last scene to give Jennifer Hudson the most time possible to grow into her character.
Jennifer Hudson beat out 782 other actresses for the role of Effie White, including her former American Idol (2002) rival Fantasia Barrino.
The story for both the film and the original Broadway musical, is based heavily on the real life occurrences of the Motown recording group, The Supremes. (Later known as, "Diana Ross & The Supremes") Curtis Taylor Jr. represents Motown Founder Berry Gordy Jr. Both men worked in the automotive industry before focusing on music and implemented aspects of the automotive business into the music making process. They were also romantically involved with the lead singer of the most successful female group on their label (whom they themselves appointed, over the initial "powerhouse" voice of the group.) Also Effie's departure from the group and the reasons why, are for the most part true of the founding Supremes member Florence Ballard, who was known to have a much more powerful voice than Diana Ross.
Anika Noni Rose had to wear 6-inch heels while filming the title musical number to appear in frame with Beyoncé Knowles and Jennifer Hudson. Rose is 5'2", Knowles is 5'7", and Hudson is 5'9".
Jennifer Hudson gained twenty pounds to play the role of Effie White.
Jamie Foxx initially declined to play Curtis Taylor Jr. because the salary offered was insufficient. Denzel Washington was offered the part after Foxx, but declined because he cannot sing. Once Beyoncé Knowles and Eddie Murphy were attached to the production, Foxx rethought his decision and accepted the role.
Beyoncé Knowles auditioned in full costume and performed with choreography. She has said she considers this her first film as an actress.
This is the only film to ever lead in the number of nominations in a particular year (in this case eight) at the Academy Awards but receive no Oscar nomination for Best Picture.
After the original stage production proved successful, the film version went through several incarnations. In the late 1980s Whitney Houston was considered for the role of Deena, but negotiations fell through when Houston insisted that Deena sing some of Effie's songs, specifically, "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going", as well. In the early 1990s, after the success of What's Love Got to Do with It (1993), Joel Schumacher was set to direct, with Lauryn Hill set to play Deena and Kelly Price to play Effie. However, after the box-office failure of several other musical biopics, the project was again shelved. After the success of Chicago (2002), the producers approached Bill Condon, who had long considered an adaptation his dream project.
Both Will Smith and Terrence Howard were considered for the role of Curtis Taylor, Jr.
Effie walks in with an album on "Rainbow Records," Martin Luther King's "Great March To Freedom", recorded in Detroit, June 23, 1963. This is one of the few real record covers in the movie; it was released as Gordy 906, a Motown label.
Effie (Jennifer Hudson) is supposed to be older than Michelle (Sharon Leal). In real-life Leal is 9 years older than Hudson.
Film debut of Jennifer Hudson.
Beyoncé Knowles lost weight during a break in filming to make herself look younger for the teenage and early years of Deena Jones.
Singer Usher Raymond was the first choice for the role of C.C. White, but turned it down due to scheduling conflicts. R&B singer Omarion Grandberry was also briefly considered before Keith Robinson was cast.
When Curtis tells the girls that they're going to be their own act, he says that he's gotten Jolly Jenkins to do their choreography. This is a reference to Cholly Atkins, the famous tap-dancer (part of the tap-dancing duo of Coles and Atkins), who did most of the choreography for The Supremes.
During the Christmas party scene, Teddy Campbell is listening outside the room where Deena, Curtis, Michelle, CC, Jimmy, and Lorrell are listening to the recording of "Patience." Curtis's Aunt Ethel tells Teddy to get back to the party. Teddy answers, "I'm waiting for Deena." This is a reference to the close friendship between Michael Jackson and Diana Ross.
Spike Lee considered directing the film in the early 90s with Jasmine Guy as Deena Jones.
Loretta Devine, who plays the jazz singer in the wake scene, created the role of Lorrell Robinson in the original Broadway production of "Dreamgirls" in 1981. Actor Hinton Battle, who plays Curtis' aide Wayne, was also a replacement for the role of James "Thunder" Early in the original production.
The character "Effie" was originally created for Nell Carter in 1978 when the original stage show was in it's experimental stages as "Project Number 9." Audio tapes of Carter rehearsing numbers such as "One Night Only" still exist in bootleg form and are constantly recirculated.
In one scene, Curtis forces the Dreams to record "Heavy" as a riot rages outside in the streets of Detroit. This is a references to the 1967 Detroit riot, during which Motown's studios remained semi-operational.
Bill Condon attended the opening night performance of the original Broadway production of "Dreamgirls" at the Imperial Theatre, New York City, on 20 December 1981.
In the scene where "The Dreams" stand in front of a huge replica of their first album entitled "Meet The Dreams", the cover art is an almost identical replica of The Supremes 1965 album called "More Hits by the Supremes". On the other hand, the photos of "The Dreams" on that cover are near identical poses from another Supremes album from 1966 called "The Supremes A Go-Go".
The jokes that Bobby Slayton tells in the Miami night club were taken verbatim from Don Rickles's 1968 album "Hello, Dummy!"
The film was Eddie Murphy's first for Paramount since Vampire in Brooklyn (1995). Murphy formerly had an exclusive contract with the studio.
Shipped to theaters under the code name "Drama".
The original Broadway production of "Dreamgirls" opened at the Imperial Theater on December 20, 1981, ran for 1521 performances and was nominated for the 1982 Tony Awards for the Best Musical and Score and won for the Best Book of a Musical.
It is the first film to be nominated for the most Oscars in a given year without getting a Best Picture Nomination.
The film was originally planned to be a Warner Bros. release. In the early 2000s, DreamWorks was brought aboard as US distributor, with Warner Bros. initially retaining international rights. When the budget was revealed, Warner balked and left the film, to be replaced by Paramount Pictures. During pre-production, Viacom, parent of Paramount, purchased DreamWorks, making the film wholly owned by Paramount before it was released.
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Obba Babatundé, who portrayed C.C. White in the original stage version, turned down an offer to audition for the role of Marty Madison because he disapproved of the changes the film adaptation made to the original musical.
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Sheryl Lee Ralph was nominated for the 1982 Tony Award (New York City) for Actress in a Musical for "Dreamgirls".
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Cleavant Derricks won the 1982 Tony Award (New York City) for Supporting or Features Actor in a Musical for "Dreamgirls" for his role as soul singer James Thunder Early.
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Bill Condon's first musical movie.
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Obba Babatundé was nominated for the 1982 Tony Award (New York City) for Supporting or Features Actor in a Musical for "Dreamgirls" for his portrayal of C.C. White.
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When Jimmy Early asks his band mates "Who was the first singer to start wearing shiny clothes?", one responds "Little Richard." The responder was Jimmy's Piano player who came onstage to sit in for Jimmy when he first taught the Dreamettes the parts for "Fake your way to the top."
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Columbus Short tested for the role of C.C White.
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Cameo 

Jaleel White: The manager of the talent show at the Detroit Theater in the opening scene.
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Debra Zane: Upset White Woman in Miami Beach club
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Fatima Robinson: one of the Stepp Sisters
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Shutchai Tym Buacharern: drag queen with fan during "One Night Only (Disco)" sequence
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Spoilers 

The trivia item below may give away important plot points.

In the musical, James "Thunder" Early is never heard from or seen again after the breakdown during "I Meant You No Harm/The Rap", and here in the film it is specified that he dies of a (possibly intentional) heroin overdose.

See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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