The actress joined the film's crew to reflect on their memories with Prince
Credit: Warner Brothers/Getty Images

Apollonia Kotero made her first public appearance since Prince‘s death during a surprise pop-up at a Purple Rain screening in Beverly Hills on Monday night.

The actress starred alongside Prince in the 1984 rock drama, which marked the late legend’s acting debut. The film, written and directed by Prince’s one-time manager Albert Magnoli, grossed over $80 million at the worldwide box office. Its soundtrack, penned almost entirely by Prince, also won an Academy Award for Best Original Song Score.

The screening Kotero attended, titled Purple Rain: Celebration, featured a panel of the movie’s former crew that included cast members Jerome Benton and Jill Jones, producer Robert Cavallo, costume designer Marie France, and Magnoli. They used the 90-minute conversation to reflect on their time with Prince and their work on Purple Rain.

“I knew Prince from the age of 12. We lived in the same neighborhood,” said Benton, according to Billboard. “My first impression: He had a big old head [Laughs]. But he could sing and play. He had a strong presence — and respect for me as a kid.”

Kotero, who first addressed Prince’s death in an April Facebook post, also opened up: “I learned they were flying me to Minneapolis to meet Prince, who takes me out for a ride in a purple limo. He was very reserved and shy. I’m like Chatty Cathy,” she said. “Later there’s a knock at my hotel door and it’s Chick [Charles ‘Big Chick’ Huntsberry] from his security team: ‘The kid likes you. Play it cool.'”

After the screening, Kotero returned to Facebook with a long-winded note addressed to the iconic musician. “On the morning of April 21, I woke up to the worst day of my life…My heart exploded into a million pieces that morning,” she wrote. “You told Jill J. and the girls on February 28th that I was a clown. I figured God made me just to make you laugh. I will try my best to find my humor again. My heart needs more time. I really miss your laughter. Your silly voices. But mostly, I miss your pancakes.”

Read Kotero’s entire post below.

Purple Rain
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