Gabourey Sidibe

BATD ON Feb 03, 2010 AT 1:57 pm

Gabourey Sidibe

Gabourey Sidibe

Growing up in Harlem, Gabourey Sidibe had never been interested in acting. She had been in a few school plays for fun, playing a pirate in Peter Pan and Glinda the Good Witch in the Wiz, but nothing professional. She was studying psychology at Mercy College in New York, in hopes of becoming a research psychologist, when a friend told her about the auditions being held for Precious. She hesitated going because she would have to skip school, but decided to give it a try.

After seeing 400 Precious hopefuls, director Lee Daniels knew Sidibe was perfect. She wasn’t chosen because she was exactly like Precious, but because she wasn’t exactly like her. The only thing they really had in common was the fact that they grew up in Harlem. She understood some of what Precious went through, but it wasn’t her exact history, so she could make it seem natural with it still being acting.

Precious stars plenty of big name stars playing unglamorous parts. Mariah Carey, Lenny Kravitz, and Mo’Nique all play characters who positively and negatively affect Precious’ life.

Precious

Precious

Based on the book Push by Sapphire, the film deals with very heavy subject matters. Domestic violence, illiteracy, and being ignored were major hardships in the title character’s life, and Sidibe felt that her psychology background helped her. Her classes have taught her about the anatomy of a victim, and she used that knowledge in her acting. After travelling around the world releasing the film, the actors and director have realised it doesn’t only pertain with the African-Americans community, but everyone around the world.

The movie won the Grand Jury award at the Sundance Film Festival and Sidibe has been nominated for several Best Actress awards, including the Oscars. Although she never planned on having an acting career, Sidibe figures she might as well strike while the iron is hot and continue acting. Now she is filming Yelling to the Sky, in which she plays a bully opposite Zoe Kravitz.

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