Since “Precious” hit theaters last fall and met with critical and commercial success, there’s been a lot of discussion surrounding the future of the film’s star. Black actresses in Hollywood aren’t exactly being crushed under a mountain of available roles for them even when they’re not overweight, so adding obesity to the equation could easily send more doors slamming shut. However, there have been a few women in Hollywood–both Black and white– who’ve “made it” without being rail thin, such as Oprah and Kathy Bates. So is it fair to count Sidibe out so early in the game? Let us know what you think in the comments. – NewsOne Staff
Howard Stern caused a bit of a ruckus recently when he suggested that Gabourey Sidibe had no chance at a career in acting. Sidibe received an Academy Award nomination for playing the title role of an overweight inner-city teenager in “Precious.”
Said Stern recently on his Sirius satellite show: “There’s the most enormous, fat black chick I’ve ever seen. She is enormous. Everyone’s pretending she’s a part of show business and she’s never going to be in another movie. She should have gotten the best actress award because she’s never going to have another shot. What movie is she gonna be in?”
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Since Stern is in the ruckus business and is outspoken on a regular basis, the blasts created some waves in the entertainment community but little beyond that. Yet Stern focused attention on an issue, namely the ability of “actors of size” to establish and maintain careers.
Stern is already partially wrong. Sidibe will appear on the new Showtime series “The C Word,” and was one of the stars of an independent film called “Yelling to the Sky.” But will she be around for the long run? Can large actors or actresses work regularly?
“I don’t think you can automatically rule her out,” said senior editor Thom Geier of Entertainment Weekly. “If you look at two or three, shall we say ‘not size 0’ of the past 20 years, Oprah had a pretty good career after ‘The Color Purple.’ You had Jennifer Hudson, who went on to have a pretty good career (after winning an Oscar for her performance in ‘Dreamgirls’ in 2007).
“Now, is it going to be smooth sailing for someone like Gabby? Not necessarily, because there aren’t a lot of roles written for someone like her. It’s kind of hard to picture her in an action picture or in a conventional romantic comedy. But that isn’t to say there are no roles; there might be roles in Tyler Perry films, or on TV.”