We all remember Mo’Nique, right? The standup badass turned sitcom star turned serious movie actress turned dark horse Oscar winner? Yeah, about that Oscar win… turns out it may not have been the career jolt for Mo’ that it normally is for others. Which explains why we haven’t heard or seen much of her since she took home the little gold bald man in 2010 for Best Supporting Actress in Precious.
“I got a phone call from [Precious director] Lee Daniels maybe six or seven months ago,” she told The Hollywood Reporter in a recent interview. “And he said to me, ‘Mo’Nique, you’ve been blackballed.’ And I said, ‘I’ve been blackballed? Why have I been blackballed?’ And he said, ‘Because you didn’t play the game.’ And I said, ‘Well, what game is that?’ And he gave me no response.”
Daniels himself semi-clarified to THR later that Mo’ had become a casting couch pariah due to something sounding suspiciously like ego and heady demands. “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.”
Whatever the case may be, it’s certainly disappointing to see one of the former queens of comedy to fall so far from her throne. Mo’Nique is one of only six stand-ups to have won an Academy Award for acting; the other five being Charlie Chaplin, George Burns, Whoopi Goldberg, Robin Williams, and Jamie Foxx. (It was the late and wonderful Williams, actually, who presented Mo’Nique with her Oscar. Watch that beautiful comedy moment below.) We hope things turn around for Mo’ soon – worst case scenario, she can always return to standup, and there doesn’t seem to be anything “worst” about that.