The actor played charlatan psychic Oda Mae Brown in the classic 1990 romance, having beaten a list of candidates including Patti LaBelle and Tina Turner to be cast in the role.
Speaking to Variety, Goldberg said that Swayze and director Jerry Zucker flew out to Alabama so she could read lines with Swayze, who fought for her to get the part.
“He and I just took to each other,” said Goldberg.
“All the casting in that movie was agonising,” Zucker told the outlet, but he explained that Goldberg had “hit it out of the park” during the audition, “particularly with the comic lines”.
Zucker also said that Goldberg had teased him about the casting process during a recent encounter, telling him: “You forgot that I could act”.
“She was kidding, but it was absolutely true,” said the filmmaker. “I was so afraid of a comic in this role, or someone identified with comedy, that it took me a while to come to that decision.
“But in the end, Whoopi’s ability to be hysterically funny without ever leaving her character is what makes the film work.”
Swayze died of cancer in 2009, at the age of 57.
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