Prince's protégé made her first public appearance since his death in April.

By Hayden Wright

Since Prince died in April, there have been tributes from many of his former protégés, from Sheila E. to Carmen Electra. One familiar face missing from the tableau has been Apollonia Kotero, co-star and love interest in the iconic Purple Rain. That void was filled when Apollonia made an appearance at an Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences screening of the film Monday night (Aug. 29), and described her 1983 audition process for the role, reports Billboard.

Related: Remembering Prince’s Unforgettable Protégés

“I walked in and they asked me to take my shoes off. I thought wow, they’re into feet,” she joked. “Later I learned they were flying me to Minneapolis to meet Prince, who takes me out for a ride in a purple limo. He was very reserved and shy. I’m like Chatty Cathy.”

Ultimately, Apollonia got the part and shared a fruitful creative (and personal) partnership with Prince in the mid-1980s. The performer’s answering machine even played a role in delivering “When Doves Cry” to the masses.

“Prince called me and sang several pieces of [‘When Doves Cry’] into my answering machine and said not to erase it,” she said. “When he came to my apartment, he headed straight to my machine. I still have that tape.”

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