Every Single Time...

...I read another interview with Gabby Sidibe, I love her more.
Lee Daniels is best known as the producer of the Oscar-winning Monster's Ball. He made his directorial debut in 2006 with Shadowboxer, ostensibly a thriller about contract killers starring Helen Mirren as the stepmother (and lover) of Cuba Gooding Jr. Precious is a million miles away from being thriller material.

"I don't think Lee got Precious at the start," says Sidibe. "He assumed what she was like. He thought bigger girls were dumb. Is he ever wrong!" she laughs.

So you understood Precious better than him? "Hell, yeah. I'm a girl – so I knew what Precious was like a little bit better than him. Plus, he's from Philadelphia and I'm from Harlem, so I brought New York to this character."

More importantly, she understood how Precious would present herself to a hostile world in a way that the director couldn't. "He assumed she wouldn't try to be presentable – but I knew she would. She wouldn't wear – as Lee initially thought – pink yellow and orange and flannel. He wanted to tie my hair into ponytails to make me look poor – but I would never have looked like that. I'm not a rich girl but I would never dress like that. And I knew Precious wouldn't. So he changed her wardrobe."

But what about the hunched and truculent way Precious carries herself – so very different from the way beaming Gabourey Sidibe swept into the room an hour ago? "I channelled her anger and her daunting disposition. She walks into the room and her shoulders are hunched. She disappears into her own world. It's called acting, sweetie," she says.

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