02/27/2014 08:25 am ET Updated Feb 27, 2014

The Unexpected Phone Call Tika Sumpter Got From Oprah (VIDEO)

On Tuesday nights, millions tune in to watch "Tyler Perry's The Haves and The Have Nots," a drama series on OWN that explores the complicated dynamic between the rich and powerful Cryer family and the hired help who work in their opulent mansion in Savannah, Ga.

When Perry was casting the series, he knew who he wanted to play the female lead. He had worked with actress Tika Sumpter ("Gossip Girl," "One Life to Live") on his film "Tyler Perry's A Madea Christmas," and asked if she'd join the cast of his TV series as Candace Young, the vixen.

Perry says Sumpter told him she needed to think about it -- a "no," in his book. What changed her mind? In the above clip from "The Tyler Perry Show," he asked Sumpter to explain.

"Well, Oprah did call me," Sumpter says. "She called me twice, actually."

Sumpter says she was at an awards show when she got the call. "People were loud," she says. "I wanted to say, 'Oprah's on the phone, shut up!'"

Oprah called back a second time, when Sumpter was in her car. Rather than trying to convince Sumpter to take the role, she says Oprah told her she is the captain of her own ship. "She even said, 'Honey, I don't talk people into doing anything they don't want to do,'" Sumpter says. "She said, 'But I feel special about this one.'"

"And she was right," Sumpter agrees.

Part 2 of "The Tyler Perry Show," a three-part special airs Tuesday, March 4, at 10 p.m. ET on OWN.



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