It’s hard to imagine “Precious” without then-unknown Gabourey Sidibe. But Jennifer Hudson was riding high after “Dreamgirls” and said she turned down the role because she didn’t want to gain weight. “I had [gained weight] with Effie and as much as I was moved by this film, I wanted to try a role that had nothing whatsoever to do with my weight,” Jennifer explained, ever the Weight Watchers spokeswoman. [Perez Hilton]
I’m intrigued by the idea of someone else playing such a now-iconic character. This got me thinking … are there other stars who just missed being cast in big roles? The answer is a resounding YES. Keep clicking for 23 more intriguing examples.
The big to-do everyone is making over “Precious” director Lee Daniels’ acceptance speech at the 2010 NAACP Image Awards Saturday is unfounded. While accepting the Best Film honors, Daniels said, “No one in Hollywood told me they wanted to see a movie about a 350-pound black girl who had HIV.” After realizing his so-called “blunder” and that his statement could potentially embarrass breakout actress Gabourey Sidibe, Daniels tried to recover, saying: “She’s not 350 pounds … Gabby … But the book says … ” Sidibe sat in the audience shaking her head. Not only is this how author Sapphire described the title character in Push, but this is also a quote Daniels has given numerous times about the difficulties he faced trying to get “Precious” made. I can’t understand how people automatically thought he was referring directly to Sidibe. Perhaps folks were already far too aware of their discomfort with her size, and Daniels’ speech only reminded them of their prejudice, and they felt it politically correct to admonish him for it. However, this film doesn’t tell Sidibe’s story, and Daniels was referring to the character. Did audience members and viewers think Sidibe was HIV-positive too after Daniels’ speech? No, but since weight is such a controversial topic in our culture, the link between Precious and Sidibe was made. Sidibe knows she’s large and has given countless interviews in which she expresses how comfortable she is with her weight and how Hollywood needs to be more accepting, so it’s not a far stretch to argue that she would be comfortable at 350 pounds also. Nevertheless, sources say she was upset by Daniels’ remark. Sidibe has worn her weight like a badge of honor, but maybe she needs a sign that says: “I’m only proud to be 250 pounds” — or whatever the scale actually reads. Keep reading »
“If you look at Precious and all you see is someone who is overweight and dark-skinned, you’re missing the point. Just like if you look at me and all you see is someone who is overweight and dark-skinned. You’ve missed the point. You’ve missed me.”
– Gabourey Sidibe at The New York Times Arts & Leisure Weekend [via Jezebel] Keep reading »
The 2010 Golden Globe nominations were read early this morning from Hollywood by a supah-fine John Krasinski, Diane Kruger, and Justin Timberlake. Some of the nominees include Gabourey Sidibe for “Precious,” Meryl Streep for her roles in “It’s Complicated” and “Julie and Julia,” Joseph Gordon Levitt for “(500) Days of Summer,” January Jones and Jon Hamm for “Mad Men,” Courteney Cox for “Cougar Town,” (anyone else sorta shocked by this?) Tina Fey for “30 Rock,” and Drew Barrymore for the HBO miniseries “Grey Gardens.” The movie “Up in the Air” got more nominations that any other movie; “Glee” was the most nominated TV show.
When Emily Blunt was nominated for her role in “The Young Victoria,” Justin Timberlake chuckled, looked into the audience, presumably at Krasinski, who is dating Blunt, and said, “Oo-oh, somebody’s gonna have a good night tonight!” Oh, that Timberlake — always the entertainer. See the full list of nominees here. The 2010 Golden Globes will air Sunday, Jan. 17, 2010 on NBC. Keep reading »
You can have your Natalie Portman
, Drew Barrymore
, and Jennifer Garner
girl crushes. Me? I prefer newcomer Gabourey Sidibe from the movie “Precious.” I have to admit, I didn’t love
the movie, though I thought the performances, particularly Sidibe’s and Mo’Nique’s, were amazing. The film was just a bit too dark and depressing for my taste, but it’s wonderful to see how light and refreshing Gabourey Sidibe — or “Gabby” if you prefer — is in real life. She was on “Leno” last night and came across so delightfully unaffected by her sudden fame and all the Oscar buzz around her. And for someone who’s a newcomer in the dog-eat-dog world of Hollywood and doesn’t exactly look the part of a leading lady, she’s amazingly self-assured and confident. I love when Leno says the guys have been coming out of the woodwork since her film, and she laughs and says, “I know. Everyone thinks I’m so beautiful now…” Clip above. Keep reading »
Have you seen “Precious” yet? It’s everything the buzz says it’s going to be: Gabby Sidibe plays Precious, who has been raped by her father and had two children by him, and Mo’Nique plays the abusive mother who calls Precious the most vile names and throws a TV set at her head. Incest, physical violence, verbal abuse … it’s a heavy one.
So I’ve been asking myself why I watched the movie in a Jersey City (New Jersey) theater, sitting next to a woman who held her toddler son in her lap the whole time. Just how recently out-of-the-womb was this little chubster? Young and socially unaware enough that when the movie was over, he walked straight over to my Diet Coke and touched it, putting his germy little hands all over my straw. Maybe 3 years old? Possibly only 2? Keep reading »
Starring Gabourey Sidibe, Mo’Nique, Paula Patton, Mariah Carey
Directed by Lee Daniels
Based on the book by Sapphire
After all the hype surrounding “Precious” — the critical acclaim, Oprah’s endorsement, and the back-and-forth between some bloggers and reviewers about Gabby Sidibe’s weight — I walked into the theater this weekend with one expectation and that was to cry my eyes out. And indeed, my eye makeup suffered. This movie left me a bit shell-shocked, to be honest, both positively — because of the incredible performances — and negatively, because it paints such a bleak portrait of a way of life that I don’t have any experience with. It was hard to watch and not one of those movies you walk out of the theater declaring as “wonderful.” But, man, was it powerful. Keep reading »
Thank goodness it’s Friday, because this daylight savings thing has totally killed any motivation to leave the house after 5pm. This will have to change, though, because new movies open this weekend and there are some good ones. If you’re in the mood to be an emotional mess, go see “Precious.” If you have ever wondered if you could take another person’s life in your hands, “The Box” is the movie for you. If you’re not a fan of goats but enjoy handsome men, “Men Staring at Goats” should work. And if you need a hand getting in the holiday spirit, go see “A Christmas Carol.” Your viewing choice is of course up to your discretion, but go see “Precious.” Oprah says so, too. Keep reading »
A few years ago, I had the pleasure of working alongside a lady named Erica Watson at a dreary desk job. She’s one-of-a-kind: nice as can be, whip smart, hilarious, and just an all-around bundle of good vibes. It was a total bummer Erica and I lost touch after we both moved on to other jobs.
Then I randomly saw Erica performing at a stand-up comedy club one night last spring and when we reconnected, I learned her career has blown up. The Fabulous Miss Erica Watson has a small, but significant, role in “Precious,” which you might have heard has OSCAR written all over it.
But not only is Erica a star on the big-screen: she’s also been performing a one-woman stand up comedy show about body image called—get this—”Fat Bitch.” After wrapping up performances in New York City this fall, Erica will be performing in a Chicago run of “Fat Bitch” at the Chicago Center for the Performing Arts from November 19th-28th, 2009. (She’ll be back in NYC in February 2010—check Erica’s web site for more details.)
After the jump, Erica and I chatted about playing an abusive mom in “Precious,” freaking everyone out by naming her show “Fat Bitch,” and how Erica wishes she could be more like Santa Claus: Keep reading »