Brooklyn-born and raised Hollywood newcomer Gabourey Sidibe didn’t become a star overnight because of who she knew or what she wore. Instead, she won the praise of Hollywood’s finest by acting her heart out as a pregnant teen in “Precious.”
In the new issue of Harper’s Bazaar, Gabourey talks about landing the role of a lifetime and finally feeling confident in her own skin.
If you’ve ever seen a single televised interview with Gabourey Sidibe, star of the much-acclaimed film “Precious,” you know right away that she’s a hilarious, extremely charming and seemingly confident woman. In Harper’s Bazaar, she tells how she got that way. Here are some quotes:
ON HER BRAND NEW BOYFRIEND: “He’s a regular guy working a regular job, and I’m scared to take him anywhere”
ON THE MOVIES IMPACT: “Roger Ebert! His review was basically a love letter.” She gets frustrated, though, when she reads another kind of synopsis: ‘Gabby Sidibe is an overweight black girl who is illiterate and pregnant by her father,’ ” she parrots. “Look, I am black. I’m also overweight, but that’s not the point of the story. The point is the abuse and her bravery. This stuff happens to skinny people, to white people, to so many different people that they’ve missed the point if they say it’s about a fat girl.”
ON CONFIDENCE: “It came late, too late in my life. Something like 21. I just know that I was tired. I was tired of thinking less of myself because others did. People always ask me, ‘You have so much confidence. Where did that come from?’ It came from me. One day I decided that I was beautiful, and so I carried out my life as if I was a beautiful girl. I wear colors that I really like, I wear makeup that makes me feel pretty, and it really helps. It doesn’t have anything to do with how the world perceives you. What matters is what you see. Your body is your temple, it’s your home, and,” she chuckles, “you must decorate it.”
ON BARACK: She’s heard Precious may have been screened in the White House. “I heard a rumor that President Obama knew who I was. You know, because Oprah is all up in his shizz, so I think that he might be aware of me.” She laughs. “But then again, he’s also aware of the whole world. He’s probably a little brain busy.”
ON IF SHE MET HERSELF AT A PARTY: “I’d think I was pretty. Is that weird? I might be really interested in me. I’d probably watch myself the whole night, then I’d come over and say, ‘You’re a really good dancer.’ We’d talk for a while and then,” she says, starting to giggle at the silliness of it, “we’d go home separately to avoid the paparazzi.”
ON YOGA: “I hate yoga so much. Like, if yoga was a person, I’d stab them.” At the end of the day, “it doesn’t make any sense to kill yourself, because who are you trying to be beautiful for? It’s a mind game, not a body game.”
ON PHOTO SHOOTS: “I feel like a model. It justifies everyone in my life who told me I wouldn’t be anything until I lost weight. It justifies that little girl who cried because she didn’t think she could be in front of the camera. And it’s for other girls who feel like they can’t do this or that and feel like they’re not pretty and not worthy of having their photo taken.”
ON BEING RECOGNIZED: “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?” [But] it’s harder to get through places. It really is.”
ON HER “LOOK”: Sidibe’s favorite decoration to date is the red David Meister dress she wore to the L.A. premiere of Precious. “It was so va va voom, my boobs looked so good in it. I had diamonds on too. Diamonds really do it.” While her size makes off-the-runway looks an impossibility, she’s not that bothered. “I don’t really care because it gives me more freedom. I don’t just flip through a magazine and say, ‘I want this,’ because I can’t, really.”
ON “MAKING IT”: “I’m just happy to show up. So, I don’t have any plans of changing because I really, really like myself. It took a lot of work to get here. It’s reaffirming for people to meet me and ask me not to change.” She smiles, slyly deflating her you-go-girl balloon. “And now we cry.”
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