Dearly beloved

Before her appearance at the Castro Theatre, Apollonia speaks of Prince and Purple Rain

Apollonia has a part in Chris Rock's next romantic comedy and a role in Lenny Bias, a basketball drama she's producing

Pop historians have praised Prince's 1984 Purple Rain as the greatest soundtrack of all time, the greatest album of the 1980s, and even the greatest album (full stop) of all time. Fans agree — the Oscar-winning platter has sold more than 13 million copies.

Purple Rain, the movie, occupies another space entirely — it's a time capsule of the big-hair, tight-pants era. Far from a forgotten footnote to the Purple Rain album, however, the movie has emerged as a full-fledged cult classic. Naturally, this means it's a favorite of Peaches Christ, who'll be feting the movie in royal style this weekend. The film's leading lady, actor-musician Apollonia, who still performs and also runs her own production company, will appear in person. I spoke with her from the shores of Lake Minnetonka — er, Los Angeles — ahead of her San Francisco visit.

SFBG One of the highlights at the Castro event is sure to be the costume contest. Do you have any '80s fashion regrets?

Apollonia I think my fashion regret was wearing, like, lace leggings. I wore those with undies underneath for a TV show in Mexico. They looked great in person. You know, sometimes you wear things and you look in the mirror and you go, "Oh man, this is kickin'." Then I saw it on TV and I was like, "Oh shit, what the hell did I just do?" It was baaad. [Laughs.]

SFBG I'm sure Purple Rain fans always ask about your relationship with Prince.

A The funniest thing — a bit annoying, too — is that a lot of people will ask, "I want to buy tickets for the Prince concert, can you get me better seats?" [Laughs.] And these are just innocent fans who don't know better. [I also get] "Did you guys date? Were you married?" No, we never dated. We were not married. I'm not the drummer, I'm not the ex-wife. I'm the actor that was in the movie!

SFBG How was Prince to work with? Do you keep in touch?

A He's funny, great personality. Musical genius. We don't see each other every month, but we [performed together] at the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood maybe two years ago. I always tell friends, you know, forever it's Ike and Tina, Sonny and Cher, and Prince and Apollonia. I could see people's faces, they were freaked out watching us!

SFBG Do you have a favorite memory of working on Purple Rain?

A It was all hard work, but I enjoyed it from day one — and going to the Oscars, which was wild! Just being part of music folklore — it's an iconic movie and I'm honored to have been part of it. 


Fri/1, 8 p.m., $25–$43

Castro Theatre

429 Castro, SF


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