It is a convention of the Oscar season that when an actor is among the hopefuls, a phalanx of promoters, publicists and managers go to work, making sure that the star is dolled up and walks miles of red carpets to tell anyone who will listen that she would be “thrilled just to be nominated.
Mo’Nique has never been much for convention. A stand-up comic from Baltimore, she defined her own version of plus-size beauty, drawing belly laughs along the way by pointing out that it is O.K. to have one. Along with her busy stand-up career, she starred in “The Parkers” for five years on UPN and had movie parts here and there. But it was her role in “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” that turned heads. As Mary, the baleful, hellacious mother of Claireece Precious Jones, the illiterate teenager who serves as her punching bag, Mo’Nique created a movie monster who seemed all too real. Her ability to step inside a character of monumental menace has made her a favorite in the best supporting actress category.
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Mo’Nique, 42, says she cares deeply about “Precious” and is thrilled to be among the mentioned, but she is not about to reorganize her life or her priorities to get her mitts on an Oscar. “The Mo’Nique Show,” her daily talk show on BET, just began in October, and while other hopefuls are criss-crossing the country for all manner of events, chatting up Oscar bloggers and making sure that everyone knows that they want it, Mo’Nique is mostly here in Atlanta, tending to her show.
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