Winfrey, 62, plays a manipulative blues club owner in the
13-episode series "Greenleaf" for her OWN cable television
channel that she called "a dream come true."
"I believe that what we all love is a good story," Winfrey said
at a screening on Wednesday at the Tribeca film festival, ahead
of the show's TV debut on June 21.
Winfrey, also an executive producer, said she saw "Greenleaf" as
continuing the mission behind her long-running TV chat show that
ended in 2011, and that also informs her magazine "O."
"My real role on earth is to lift the consciousness ... It's
about showing people new ways of seeing themselves and seeing
the problems and flaws and dysfunctions that we all have and
being able to lift that just enough that you can see yourself in
that," she told the Tribeca audience.
Winfrey, who was nominated for an Oscar in 1986 for her role in
"The Color Purple," and appeared in movies "The Butler" and
"Selma," last had a regular acting TV part in "Brewster Place"
"Greenleaf," created by "Six Feet Under" writer Craig Wright,
tells the story of a wealthy African-American family behind a
mega-church, their rivalries, secrets and hypocrisies.
Wright said the show takes religion, and its role in the black
community, seriously, but also raises questions.
"It is not a soap. It is not a sermon," he said
"It is a story about a lost faith and an attempt to get it back
by setting things right and all the challenges that come your
way when you try to fix the system," Wright added.
Merle Dandridge stars as Grace Greenleaf, the prodigal daughter
who returns home after a 20-year rift, and Lynn Whitfield plays
family matriarch Lady Mae Greenleaf.
Whitfield said the series represented a departure from other TV
depictions of the black community.
"This is a story we have not seen on TV for a long time ... It
is not about racial problems or financial difficulty. These
people have to deal with themselves and their lives," she said.
(Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Frances Kerry)
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