Profile: Gabourey Sidibe from Precious

  • The List
  • 13 January 2010
Profile: Gabourey Sidibe from Precious

Gabourey ‘Gabby’ Sidibe

6 May 1983

Born in the Bedford-Stuyvesant area of Brooklyn, where Do The Right Thing was filmed, she grew up in Harlem. Her mother is an R&B and gospel singer and her father a taxi driver. Sidibe’s life changed when a friend encouraged her to go to an open audition for Precious in the Bronx.

What’s she up to now?
Sidibe has been winning plaudits and awards for her turn as a teenage single mother in Lee Daniels' mesmerising adaptation of Sapphire’s novel Push. She revels in the role of an overweight girl who dreams of superstardom whilst trying to forget about the troubles that she is having at home. She has just been nominated for a Golden Globe for her performance. More recently Sidibe has just finished making her second movie Yelling to the Sky in which she plays a bully opposite Zoe Kravitz.

On acting in her first film
‘Because I hadn’t acted before, I was afraid that I wouldn’t know what I was doing, but I listened so closely to whatever Mr Daniels told me to do and he taught me so much. I was so open because I knew nothing. I learned something from everyone and was like a sponge. I never felt like I can’t do this because everyone had confidence in me and I was never nervous.’

On fame
‘It’s like a dream, especially when you are on the red carpet. The red carpet is like Kansas, for me it’s like being in another world. I especially like it because every time I have to go onto the red carpet I have to do my make-up first.’

Interesting fact
To prepare for the audition, Sidibe decided to only reread the first page of the book again, in order to tune into her sound. When Lee Daniels said she had the part she started to cry in his arms.

Precious is on general release from Fri 29 Jan.

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