Actress Mo’Nique is mostly known for her roles in comedies, thanks to her humble beginnings as a stand up comedienne, yet her latest and most controversial feature is earning her more praise than she’s ever received during her long career. This month the actress steps out of her comfort zone when she plays Mary Jones, the vicious and abusive mother of Precious, the film’s title character.
In a recent interview with the Associated Press, Mo’Nique talked about taking on the role of Mary Jones, a woman she didn’t want to judge before stepping into the role.
Reading the book, I disliked what she did. I won’t say I disliked her, but I disliked what she did. Getting to that last scene of Mary Jones, I understood her. For as crazy as that sounds, you don’t excuse it, but you don’t want to judge it. Because it’s easy to say that she’s a monster, she’s cruel, she’s mean, but then who took out the time to say, “Well what happened to you, baby?” That’s why I say they’re the forgotten people.
She went on to discuss those “forgotten people” whom society considers invaluable and untreatable. When taking on such a hard hitting role it’s no surprise that she decided to leave the the emotional baggage of her character on set.
“Don’t judge it and don’t take it off the set, walk away. When you’re done, let it go…” It made me look at us differently. It made me look at mental illness differently. And it made me say, you know what, I could wake up the next day out of my mind, I would want somebody to say, “I give a damn. Come here. Let me get you some help.”
Mo’Nique has been getting a lot of Oscar buzz for her portrayal in Precious as well as newcomer Gabourey “Gabby” Sidibe. The film hits theaters tomorrow, November 6th and could be a career changing project for both actresses. Precious is directed by Lee Daniels and co-stars Mariah Carey, Lenny Kravitz, and Paula Patton.
Do you think Mo’Nique will get an Oscar nomination for her role in Precious?