February 9th, 2010

Gabourey Sidibe: A Precious Breakout

When I saw the movie Precious I was in awe of the performances by the actresses, but I was not too thrilled about the movie overall. The book PUSH captured alot much of my attention and as most readers, I expected the movie to have the same ruggedness as the book. However, as I did more research on the lead actress and her personal story, it gave me a new outlook on the movie and her performance.


I consider myself to be an avid reader of Harper’s Bazaar (both the print and online publication) and I was extremely excited to read their interview with Gabourey Sidibe. Tears came to my eye as I read about her spontaneous audition for a role that changed her life, as well as the lives of many who saw the movie. Her spirit jumped off the screen and into my heart.

I am excited to see what she does in the future and this interview has become one of my favorites.

Here is an excerpt from her Harpers Bazaar interview:

Gabourey Sidibe is sitting in the back room of the Spotted Pig in New York’s West Village, having a beer. She has just spent a luxurious half hour with her brand-new boyfriend (“He’s a regular guy working a regular job, and I’m scared to take him anywhere”), so she has pep in her sneakered step. She’s wearing a sideways Yankees cap, dark jeans, and a striped top from Torrid, her favorite chain store. “You haven’t been there?” She giggles, eyes crinkling. “Darling, it’s like a torrid affair.

These days, good karma is circling Sidibe like bluebirds in a Disney cartoon. She is an Oscar front-runner following her transformational performance as an abused teen in ’80s Harlem in director Lee Daniels’s Precious. Her character, Claireece Precious Jones, pregnant with her father’s child, disappears into a fantasy world that removes her, however briefly, from a horrendous cycle of abuse by both parents. But a two-hour-long assault this film is not because it is leavened by Sidibe’s innate charisma and flashes of wry humor. It’s a performance of elegance in an environment devoid of it.

The night before, resplendent in a purple Tadashi Shoji gown, Sidibe was Bazaar‘s guest to the Museum of Modern Art’s benefit honoring Tim Burton. Johnny Depp was in the room (during his People‘s Sexiest Man Alive week too), but guests threw themselves at Sidibe like she was Rob Pattinson. “We’ve all been to a place where we’ve felt ignored and unsupported, so it just affirms the meaning of the film’s story to me,” she says of the adoring throngs. “Ashley Olsen hugged me for a long time — like rubbing my back and everything — and said, ‘I am so proud of you.’ How cute is that?” After all the hugs, it took half an hour to get Sidibe out the door. “It’s harder to get through places,” she observes, fondly recalling those anonymous days at Torrid. “It really is.”

What’s unique about Sidibe, why people won’t let her leave a room, is that she’s like no one who’s made it in Hollywood in a very long time. She plays the heroine in a story that makes There Will Be Blood look like a Judd Apatow movie. She’s overweight (her size pronounced, though, in Precious due to pregnancy padding). She’s had no formal acting training and auditioned for Precious only because a friend encouraged her. She is a star now not because she knew the right people or wore the right dresses; she made it because she acted her heart out.

To read the rest of this article, click here.

About the Author

Demaris Bailey
Demaris Bailey is an Editor for Socialtik Mag and public relations scholar from the Bronx, NY. Attending high school in suburban Massachusetts and a Historically Black University has helped her understand cultural boundaries and differences.



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  1. Wow article was touching! I loved the movie just wish it was more to it. Read the book a few years ago; I had to put it down cause it was taking me to a place a didnt want to be. Truly a sad story! Don’t wish that on anyone.

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