Mo’Nique’s diva act might ruin her Oscar chances for ‘Precious’

The 2009 BET Hip Hop Awards Nominees

One of the early contenders for a major Oscar campaign this year is a little film called Precious. Precious debuted at Sundance to glowing reviews, and just showed at the Toronto Film Festival, once again to rapturous praise. It’s based on the novel Push, by Sapphire, and the film is produced by two of the heaviest hitters out there, Tyler Perry and Oprah Winfrey. Oprah will be promoting Precious heavily, I think. She’s already had Mariah Carey on her show – that was the episode where Mariah dropped the “motherf-cker” bomb live.

According to IMBD, the film is about: “Claireece Precious Jones endures unimaginable hardships in her young life. Abused by her mother, raped by her father, she grows up poor, angry, illiterate, fat, unloved and generally unnoticed. So what better way to learn about her than through her own, halting dialect.” Precious is played by Gabourey ‘Gabby’ Sidibe, with Mariah Carey and Mo’Nique in the supporting roles. All three of those actresses have been pegged for Oscar nominations already – with many critics promoting Mo’Nique as the film’s best chance for an Oscar win. Unfortunately, Mo’Nique doesn’t want to do the extensive publicity rounds involved in a serious Oscar campaign – at least, not without getting paid:

Breakout star Mo’Nique isn’t considered that “precious” by executives at Lionsgate, which produced her forthcoming film. In fact, insiders are saying the 41-year-old comedian’s bad attitude and shameless demands for money may jeopardize her chance for Oscar glory – all this before the highly anticipated movie opens on Nov. 6.

The star was MIA Saturday night at the New York Film Festival premiere of the buzzworthy flick “Precious.” She also allegedly ditched her promotional duties during the Toronto Film Festival when she was denied a $100,000 appearance fee.

“That money didn’t even include hair and makeup costs. She also demanded that her glam squad fly first class,” sniped an incredulous industry source. “Apparently, she’s ignorant as to how the Hollywood system works.”

According to our snitch, exasperated studio chiefs suggested that executive producer Oprah Winfrey get involved to deflate Mo’Nique’s substantial ego, but even O couldn’t stop the actress from seeing green.

“Mo’Nique said she signed on to do this film for a small amount of money. She said she didn’t care about ‘no Oscar’ – all that mattered was ‘those Benjamins!’ Because Oprah and Tyler Perry are backing the film, she feels as though there should be a budget to pay for her promotional duties,” the source explains.

But the star’s attitude is starting to work against her. Winfrey and Tyler have reportedly instructed Lionsgate to put their promotional machine behind fellow stars Mariah Carey and Gabby Sidibe for the Oscar race. Those two are adept at playing the game; both turned up in New York and Toronto to push the film for free (although Carey, left, was 30 minutes late to Saturday’s Alice Tully Hall premiere and entered to boos from the audience in response to her tardiness).

“When people say, ‘You care more about money than winning an Oscar,’ well, what does an Oscar mean? An Oscar means more work when you win it, and that means more money!” retorts Mo’Nique in response to the allegations. “I couldn’t eat that Oscar. Everybody needs money, baby. That’s how we survive, right?”

Reps for Winfrey, Tyler and Lionsgate declined to comment, but the film’s director, Lee Daniels, was quick to say, “Mo’Nique is not a diva. She puts her soul into whatever she does. I love her very much.”

He does add, however, that “doing the press is hard for her because she’s in the moment.”

[From Gatecrasher]

Well, I can see both sides to this argument – somebody should be paying for Mo’Nique to make some appearances because there is a lot of money floating around for this extensive Oscar campaign – and it seems like the producers are holding out on Mo’Nique just because she’s not, say, Beyonce. That being said, Mo’Nique should totally tread lightly – pissing off Oprah and Tyler Perry won’t get her anywhere. And it does sound like she has absolutely no idea how Hollywood and/or a major Oscar campaign works. Maybe instead of sniping at each other in the press, someone could sit down and really explain this stuff to Mo’Nique. Something along the lines of “Seriously, Kate Winslet didn’t even get the sh-t you’re asking for. Grow up.”

The 2009 BET Hip Hop Awards Nominees

The 2009 BET Hip Hop Awards Nominees

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17 Responses to “Mo’Nique’s diva act might ruin her Oscar chances for ‘Precious’”

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  1. Jillian says:

    This woman should NOT be wearing sleeveless dresses.

  2. Kiki says:

    Shave your pits, Mo!

  3. ! says:

    Its called a power trip. Hard to stop once you’ve been shat on for so many years then finally get a taste.

  4. lottaluvin says:

    She’s an idiot and full of herself.. Her stand up shows were never even funny to me…And if you think her pits are bad, you should see those grizzley legs of hers. Tacky!!

  5. princess pea says:

    Well, are the producers paying a bunch of money for Mariah to hit the campaign circuit? Because your Beyonce example/excuse seems a little silly if they aren’t. I get the feeling that sitting down to explain it won’t get anyone anywhere. She’s working for Oprah. Isn’t Oprah’s word like orders from high heaven?

    If she wants to go that route (the ‘Heigl/Fox bad mouth your project’ one) that’s fine. I’m sure the media won’t mind paying more attention to the other players in this film. (Which looks heartbreaking and awesome!)

  6. Iggles says:

    I can see both sides too. Unfortunately, I don’t think there’s enough information on Mo’Nique’s for me to make a judgment. The first source seemed intent slamming her as a diva, so it’s not balanced.

  7. Ron says:

    They are not paying for Mariah–she is out promoting her new album and she can also add on the movie to the interviews as well. Mariah wants to be taken seriously as an actress and would pay for it herself if she had too. An Oscar or even a nomination adds to your asking price siginificantly. So Mo’Nique is an idiot no to push this film, and she won’t get many other offers either is she is perceieved this way. She’ll be back doing Daddy Day Care 5 for scale soon.

  8. d says:

    I kinda thought that when you sign a contract to do a film, it’s part OF YOUR JOB to do the promotions. It’s all part of the JOB, M’onique. Get over yourself.

  9. Morgs says:

    Read this book in college. It is one effed up story for sure.

    *and in all the write ups they call Mo’nique’s character “abusive”…the b*tch molests her daughter throughout the book.

  10. Aspie says:

    Monique just started hosting her own talk show on BET, which premieres tonight. Maybe she was too busy promoting her own talk show to promote the film?

  11. Gigohead says:

    Good point Aspie. She may have her scheduled lined up and also she’s also a mom to twin boys too. Hate to think that Mo would snub a film if it meant an Oscar but she does have her obligations that she is being paid for by the folks at BET.

  12. elvisgrace says:

    @ d:Yeah, I thought that it was standard industry boilerplate to have a stipulation in the actor’s contract to do promotional appearances.

    I don’t have a photographic memory, but this is thew first time I have ever heard of an actor/actress demanding a fee to promote a movie.

  13. Nicole says:

    Off topic, but I’m still shaking my head that Mariah would even be considered for an Oscar nom. For kicks I saw her movies Glitter and Wisegirls…she was god awful in both!!

  14. TS says:

    WTF…Put some sleeves on the dress. Know she’s not fit, but damn cover those bingo wings up.

  15. j. ferber says:

    Push by Sapphire is an amazing book I read for a black studies class years ago. I can’t wait to see the film. Whatever Monique did or didn’t do is a non-issue for me. If she’s great in the movie, I couldn’t care less what she did off-set.

  16. lola says:

    ok i can tell yall from experience…u dont get paid for doing press….just like people dont get paid to come on monique’s talk show(ps wtf is up wit all the yelling?)….oprah is worth billions and people dont get paid to come on her show either…so the point im making is expecting to get paid to do interviews is crazy…i hope that this is just rumor cause i love monique!

  17. Mary says:

    She’s just another dumb sagittarius chick. I’ve seen a lot of them. She will let that husband of hers take over and he will be her downfall. She’s too loud, too ghetto and she doesn’t seem to care, look for the break up of that marriage once her husband helps her ruin her career. He’ll be about the Benjamins then. I read BET signed her to a multimillion dollar deal for her show well instead of appreciating that she now thinks she’s a Diva. I knew when I saw her interview with “O” the other day that sonething was up. You aren’t the big “O” girl and you never will be. You got lucky! Appreciate it and act accordingly. Her role in Precious was awesome but her attitude alone should take any Oscar chances away from her. She needs to learn to be a strong black woman and stop acting like a damn “HOODRAT” yeah I said it and cover your arms, that mess ain’t cute!