Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Gabourey Sidibe Says After Oscar Nomination the ‘Seas Did Not Part’ for Her in Hollywood

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*“Antebellum” star Gabourey Sidibe says her 2010 Oscar nomination did nothing for her career, unlike fellow actress Anna Kendrick.

Both stars were first time Oscar nominees at the Academy Awards in 2010. Sidibe was in the running for Best Actress in Lee Daniels’ “Precious,” while Kendrick received a Best Supporting Actress nod for Jason Reitman’s “Up in the Air.” Neither won Oscars, but Sidibe says Kendrick’s career took off after her nomination, while hers did not.

Speaking to Collider, Sidibe said: “I’ve heard the idea that I’m just lucky before. I’ve heard that. I’m an extremely unlucky person, actually. I work really, really hard though. And no, the Hollywood seas didn’t part for me in the same way that it might have for maybe Anna Kendrick who was nominated for the first time that year as well, who then went on to star in films and television and the whole thing.

READ MORE: ‘Antebellum’ Stars Gabourey Sidibe & Lily Cowle Discuss Race and White Allies

“The seas did not part that same way for me and I assume that there are a few factors that made that so, but I am still working 10 years later.”

She went on: “I have agency. I am comfortable with who I am. I know my voice. I know what I want to say to the world. I know what I want to give to the world and what I want to give to myself. I know my artistry.”

After “Precious,” Sidibe appeared in Ben Stiller’s “Tower Heist,” and TV shows “The Big C” “American Horror Story” and “Empire.”

Her latest film “Antebellum” is now playing OnDemand in the US.

“My character refuses to be undervalued,” Sidibe tells PEOPLE of her “Antebellum” role. 

“She sees microaggressions as macroaggressions and does not stand for them. That is not always who I am,” she says. “I’m learning to stand tall, to not hunch my shoulders — to flower.”

When asked why this is the right time for this film, she explains “Well, slavery wasn’t actually that long ago. My mom is from Georgia, and her mother’s grandmother was a slave, and that’s not long enough ago for my liking. I went to Ghana right before I filmed the movie. We toured the slave castles, where Africans were captured and jailed for three months before coming to America. Those jails still exist. The bars are still there. Because they were meant to be there forever.”

And when it comes to changing stereotypes about Black women Sidibe said, “The narrative surrounding Black women is that we are “magic.” That we are superheroes. That we can weather anything, that we are so strong. That all sounds like a good narrative — those are positive words. The problem with those words is that they dehumanize us. Superman was a superhero, right? That means he can’t be shot with bullets. Having this narrative around Black women that we are super and magical means that we are not human, that we can’t be hurt, that we’ll be fine. That is so dangerous. Black women are 70 percent more likely to die in childbirth because [many doctors] do not believe us when we say we are in pain. I love being thought of as magical, but for my survival I need to be thought of as human.”

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is a screenwriter and freelance reporter from Chicago -- currently living in Los Angeles and covering A-list entertainment for various outlets, including Emmys.com. She has worked for: Miramax, MTV & VH1, The Jim Henson Company, Hallmark Channel, Paramount Pictures, and for iconic indie film producer Roger Corman.

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