ONE-ON-ONE: Apollonia Kotero on making 'Purple Rain' - KMSP-TV

ONE-ON-ONE: Apollonia Kotero on making 'Purple Rain'

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It's hard to believe that Prince's movie "Purple Rain" is now 30 years old, but Apollonia Kotero -- one of the stars of that film -- hasn't missed a beat since the movie and album introduced her to the world.

On Friday night, Kotero was back in the Twin Cities to attend a Heart Association benefit with Bobby Z, Prince's former drummer -- and Fox 9's Maury Glover got the chance to catch up with her and see how she feels about the 30-year anniversary.

"It seems like it was just yesterday," Kotero remarked. "I can't believe it's been so long!"

More than 3 decades have passed since Kotero set foot in Minnesota, and she said it feels a lot different than what she remembers.

"The last time I was here, we had foot heaters and hand warmers, parkas," she reflected. "It was extremely cold and now, I'm wearing a halter top and it's humid outside. It's amazing. It's so clean. The city's so clean."

Back in the early 80s, Kotero was an aspiring actress. She auditioned for a little movie starring an up-and-coming musician from Minnesota.

"They said, 'We are going to fly you out to meet Prince,'" she recalled. "So, we go for a ride in his purple limo. I'm wearing white slacks and my 'Flashdance' sweatshirt and trying to be really cool."

She got the part, but she said filming the iconic scene where she jumps into one of the state's 10,000 lakes wasn't as easy as it looked. In fact, she got hypothermia and nearly blacked out.

"I broke a sheet of ice because it was icing up already," she recalled. "We did four takes. Everyone freaked out. Prince came in the tent; he hugged me. I could hear distant voices and I was like, 'Damn, am I going? Lord, don't take me now!'"

That didn't frighten her away, however. In fact, she packed a swim suit just in case she gets a chance to take another dip in Lake Minnetonka.

Her persistence paid off. "Purple Rain" made Prince a global superstar and even spawned a minor hit for Kotero's all-girl group, Appolonia Six. Yet, despite the steamy love scenes with her co-star, Kotero says the two were never more than friends.

"It was fun. He's a great kisser. His lips are really soft and wet. He smells good. It was just like -- it was sexy. I was turned on," she admitted, but added that the two were never officially a couple. "No, great friends -- family."

After the movie, Kotero landed roles in other films and television shows, like "Falcon Crest." Soon after, however, she dropped out of the limelight to focus on producing and mentoring talent behind the scenes. Even so, she never lost touch with her musical mentor.

"I spoke to him a few days ago on the phone. I started crying, and I was like, 'Thank you for picking me! I love you so much,'" she relayed. "We told each other we loved each other. It was full circle. I hope to see him on this trip."

That love for her Minnesota men is what brought Apollonia back. She hosted the VIP area at First Avenue to help her friend and Revolution drummer Bobby Z raise awareness about the heart attack he had at the 3rd annual Benefit 2 Celebrate Life on Saturday night and prove that even after all this time, her blood still runs purple.

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