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Interview: Gabourey Sidibe

By BRETT MICHEL  |  November 18, 2009

The one scene that stands out is the scene in the hallway with Monique. That must have been tough to shoot, just the two of you having to….
No, we shot that twice… but we were giggling. I think because of the subject matter probably, we had to have fun as much as possible. So that scene in particular was really funny to shoot. She was going on and on in this disgusting soliloquy of nastiness. And I’m standing there [with] a camera in front of me and there’s a camera operator in front of it. There were five of us packed into this tiny stairwell and I couldn’t stop laughing. So I have to duck down behind the camera guy so she doesn’t get messed up, so it doesn’t throw her off, as she’s going on and on. Because it was really the funniest scene.

Wow, it really doesn’t play as funny in the movie.

Well maybe we’ll see some of that in the DVD when it comes out. And likewise you had the scene with Mariah Carey’s character near the end. Was that a similar situation? Were you having fun shooting that?
No, we weren’t really laughing during that. That wasn’t a very funny scene. In fact we were all pretty much crying through all of it.

Hopefully you never dealt with anyone even pushing you down. Some of that was really tough to watch.
Yea, that was a hard day for her.

Well, even talking to you now, you don’t sound like the character at all. You went to school right in New York then?
Yea, I went to school in Harlem and grew up on the Lower East Side.

Have you ever taken any acting classes?
Nope. Not ever. I don’t have any training whatsoever. I think it helps during those emotional scenes. I was still very much not the character. As soon as the director would take cut, I was out of it.

Did Lee ever want you to modify what you were doing?
He wanted me to deepen my voice. So we worked a lot on that. . .we did a lot with the voice, and at some point he wanted me to kind of watch my audition tape, so I could keep on doing what I had been doing when I walked in there.

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