Introducing best actress nominee Gabourey Sidibe at the Oscars, “Precious” producer Oprah Winfrey revealed her as a “true American Cinderella on the threshold of a brilliant new career.” Although questions have arisen of Sidibe’s size being a detriment to her career, the talented new actress has proven many wrong so far. Above is the video clip from the pre-Oscar Strategy Room on Fox News with Dr. Jennifer Walden, Dr. Manny Alvarez, Dr. Cynara Coomer, and other experts with a health perspective on our favorite newcomers.
With Hollywood being such a superficial environment, it is interesting to read editorial on the topic. On ABC.com, New York casting director Bernard Telsey said Sidibe’s size is both a plus and minus: “It’s going to make her not right for the new ‘Romeo and Juliet,’ but it’s going to make her right for the role that needs her for that specificity,” Telsey told ABCNews.com. “There’s room in Hollywood for someone who looks like her,” Telsey said. “Sure, there will be fewer roles, but there’s always less of everything for people who are unique and original and different.”
Set in Harlem in 1987, “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire”, features Sidibe as the heart-wrenching Claireece “Precious” Jones, an obese sixteen year-old African-American girl who is pregnant for the second time by her otherwise absent father. At home, she is always ridiculed and abused by her tragic mother, played by Mo’Nique, who has basically turned her daughter into an indentured servant. With no money or emotional support and falling horribly behind in school, Precious is by all accounts destined to a forgotten caste surrounded by welfare offices and misery. Yet, beneath the hopeless surface, she is a savvy girl who still dreams and believes in herself. She is given a chance at an alternative school taught by a caring yet firm teacher and the emotional nightmare and a supportive social worker, played to a tee by pop diva Mariah Carey.
In October, Sidibe was front and center on the New York Times with a lengthy Magazine story on the film. Indiewire.com wrote: With all of its festival and media attention throughout the year, expectations are obviously heightened, but Sidibe still seems in awe of it all. “It was an honor, I mean, just to be on the cover of anything. I don’t expect to be on the cover of anything,” Sidibe said with a hint of nervous laughter, but then added with a tone that might have been words coming from Precious. “I think people look at me and don’t expect much. Even though, I expect a whole lot.”
What an excellent job she did in the heartbreaking movie, Precious. Now we can’t wait to see Gabourey Sidibe in her next film!