When Prince fans think of Purple Rain, they think of his legendary album that accompanied the film. And they think of his on-screen love interest, Apollonia Kotero. Kid fell for her, Morris Day’s character became enchanted with her, and plenty of fans took a liking to her too.
The Lake Minnetonka scene is forever etched in people’s minds. Though Prince was the star in the movie, Apollonia played a major part, but she only earned a small amount of money.
Vanity was cast before Apollonia in ‘Purple Rain’
Prince brought Denise “Vanity” Matthews onto his team as part of his girl group, Vanity 6. He made her the lead singer, and the trio had a hit on their hands with “Nasty Girl.” But Vanity also had a budding career as an actor. She already had a few film credits under her belt when Prince’s management team offered her a role in Purple Rain.
According to Alan Light’s book, Let’s Go Crazy: Prince and the Making of Purple Rain, she turned it down over money. “They wouldn’t pay me enough money to go through with the crap I would have had to go through,” said Vanity.
Some reports stated that she requested $1 million, and the two sides could not come to an agreement. After she passed on it, hundreds of women auditioned for the part, and it went to Patricia “Apollonia” Kotero.
For her Purple Rain performance, Apollonia went topless, did steamy sex scenes, and jumped into below freezing waters for the Lake Minnetonka scene. When they shot one of the motorcycle sequences, the bike fell on her, and she suffered an injury. Blood poured out of her leg.
During a recent sit-down with VladTV, she shared that her paycheck for the film topped out at $30,000. Remember, the movie came out in 1983 with a budget of only $7 million.
“I made $30,000 for the whole movie, and I thought, ‘I’m rich. I am rich, I can buy my mom a house,’” said Apollonia. She also added that she received royalties from Purple Rain, but “very little.”
Prince Purple Rain V-Neck T-Shirt
Purple Rain T-shirt