Mo'nique's post-Precious career never quite took off in the way an Academy Award winner's typically does, and now the actress reveals she finally found out the reason behind her Oscar Curse.
The actress and former talk show host, who won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as the abusive, domineering mother in Precious, writes in an essay in The Hollywood Reporter that it was filmmaker Lee Daniels who broke it down for her.
Noting that an Oscar win "normally does" lead to "more respect, choices, money" in the business, Mo'Nique writes, "But I got a phone call from [Precious director] Lee Daniels...And he said to me, 'Mo'Nique, you've been blackballed.' I said, 'Why?' And he said, 'Because you didn't play the game.'"
Mo'Nique famously didn't campaign for her Oscar in 2009, going on to say in her acceptance speech that she was grateful to the Academy "for showing that it can be about the performance and not the politics."
"I said, 'Well, what game is that?'" her THR piece continues. "He gave me no response."
To those who believe her reputation for being "difficult" and "tactless," she says they would "probably be right," the actress writes. "That's why I have my beautiful husband because he's so full of tact. I'm just a girl from Baltimore. But being from that place, you learn not to let anybody take advantage of you."
Mo'Nique also writes that she was offered roles in a number of Lee Daniels's subsequent projects, including Forest Whitaker's wife in Lee Daniels' The Butler, a role in the Daniels-produced Fox hit Empire and as Richard Pryor's grandmother in the upcoming biopic Daniels is working on — but, she adds, "they all just went away."
In response to Mo'Nique, Daniels said in a statement to THR:
"Mo'Nique is a creative force to be reckoned with. Her demands through Precious were not always in line with the campaign. This soured her relationship with the Hollywood community. I consider her a friend. I have and will always think of her for parts that we can collaborate on, however the consensus among the creative teams and powers thus far were to go another way with these roles."
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(Photos from left: Kevin Winter/Getty Images, Valerie Macon/Getty Images)