On Wednesday’s episode of The View, the hosts couldn’t ignore Whoopi Goldberg’s new look. The actress came out sporting white locks, which will be her “look for the next four months,” she said. Why? Because of her role in the new TV miniseries version of Stephen King’s The Stand.
“The woman I’m playing is over 100,” Goldberg, 63, explained of her role as Mother Abagail, a prophet from Nebraska who sees visions from God.
“When [King] first wrote this book, Mother Abagail was probably this tall [signifying short], and she looked like Miss Jane Pittman on steroids,” Goldberg added. “And the reason for that was people had no idea what older black women looked like because no one ever looked at old black women like that. So now we look at an older black woman and you’re looking at amazing faces.”
First published in 1978, The Stand sees a patient carrying a deadly strain of mutated superflu escape from a government testing facility. The disease inevitably spreads and kills off 99 percent of the world’s population, plunging humanity into a Biblical fight between good and evil. The benevolent Mother Abagail rises as a leader for good opposite her Randall Flagg, a breeder of chaos.
Big Little Lies Emmy winner Alexander Skarsgård will play Randall after Matthew McConaughey portrayed the character in the feature film take on The Dark Tower.
The main cast of The Stand, to premiere on CBS All Access, is rounded out by James Marsden, Amber Heard, Odessa Young, Henry Zaga, Jovan Adepo, Owen Teague, Brad William Henke, and Daniel Sunjata.
Announcing her role to The View audience with King by her side during a September episode, Goldberg said, “It’s a really big deal for me because I play Mother Abagail, who’s kind of the best of us — within us — and I’m the good, shockingly!”
Turning to King, she added, “I want to thank you because every time I see him I say, ‘If they ever do it again, I promise I’ll do it this time,’ because I desperately wanted to do it.”
Josh Boone (The New Mutants, The Fault In Our Stars) co-writes this adaptation with Ben Cavell and also directs. King, meanwhile, is writing a new ending to his story.
“I’ve had an idea for the ending for The Stand for a long time,” King told Goldberg on The View earlier this month. “I was never really totally happy with the way it ended because the main characters, Stu and Fran, never talked about what happened to them after they left Boulder, Colo., where the thing ends. And I always wondered about their trip back, and I had an idea. Josh came to me and said, ‘Would you be interested in writing a button episode for this thing?’ And I said, ‘Well, since you got Whoopi, you can get me.’”