The 37-year-old singer/actress and her husband, Kendall Taylor, sat down with ET for an in-depth conversation about her upcoming movie, their new marriage advice book and the show that launched her to stardom almost 20 years ago. First, The Color Purple. The film is three months into production and Fantasia says she's had to learn quite a few things for the film -- like tap dance and juggling her busy schedule to squeeze in date night with the hubby.
The 2004 American Idol winner is now more than happy with her heavy schedule, but she came so close to shutting the door on the opportunity. And her experience -- personally and professionally -- during her time on the Broadway musical from 2006 to 2007 was almost to blame.
"My life at that time was all over the place," says Fantasia about playing Celie for nearly nine months onstage. "So, carrying Celie's weight and my weight was not fun. And I remember saying in interviews and radio stations, when they would ask me, I said, 'Well, I did it, but I'll never do it again."
Enter Scott Sanders, one of The Color Purple's producers who called Fantasia about the role, but she already had her answer prepared.
"'I can't go back, I can't do that again, Scott'" Fantasia recalls telling Sanders. "And he says, 'Listen, I know where you are in your life right now. I see that you're married. I'm so proud of you and I'm so happy. But, there's no one else that can do this. We need you to do this."
Suffice it to say, Fantasia, who won a Theatre World Award for her Broadway performance, is now glad she came on board.
"It's going to be absolutely amazing," she says. "I'm glad that I didn't allow that door to close. I talked it over with my whole entire family and everybody kept saying, 'I think you should do it.'"
Being on the set of The Color Purple, slated for release in 2023, is also triggering a roller coaster of emotions.
"It's been hard on set, it's been funny on set, it's been emotional on set, it's been cold, it's been hot," she says. "I will say this too -- some of the places that we are filming has been heavy, because literally we have slave homes that have been there for years behind us. We can feel our ancestors. So, it's heavy. But it also reminds us that they paved the way for us. It also reminds us how far -- to be an all-Black cast -- we want to push the heavens for our ancestors and for our generation today."
Fantasia and Taylor tied the knot in the summer of 2015, never mind that they said "I do" after having known each other for only three weeks. But all these years later, their marriage hasn't just survived. It's thriving, and they've harnessed their life experiences into a new book -- No Crown in the Castle: Building a Strong Relationship and a Harmonious Life -- out now.
"We want to see people flourish, you want to see love win," Fantasia says. "[But] we always let people know that we are not trying to be pros, and say we went to school for anything. We're just sharing our testimony."
Taylor says the book's as honest as it gets.
"It's so honest that during the audio book we didn't take the crying out," Fantasia quips. "And we were asked. I was like, 'No, so what?' You can hear me crying, you hear me sniffling. Shouldn't it be that way?"
With American Idol approaching its 20th anniversary, Fantasia looks back on her time with fondness. But she's also open about how, after winning season 3 of Idol, the music industry took advantage of her. Knowing what she knows now, Fantasia says building a strong nucleus around her would be first and foremost.
"I was so young back then, but I wish that I would have had a team of people who really cared for me," she said. "Being so young and being so green, not knowing anything about the industry, you really need a team of people who will show you the way and not just think about what they can get out of it. That's probably what I would have done differently. Other than that, everything that I went through with all this stuff, made the woman that I am today."