Vixen Chat: Gabourey Sidibe Talks "Tower Heist," Laughs At First Film Role
Gabourey Sidibe is back and packing a hilarious punch alongside Eddie Murphy, Ben Stiller and Casey Affleck in Tower Heist. Since first being introduced through her Grammy-nominated lead role in Precious, the actress has apparently been rubbing elbows with the right people. Landing in the Brett Ratner-produced film, Gabby gets to show another side of her acting skill set. Surprising? Not at all. VV caught up with her following the film's screening (go see it!) and the über confident actress dished on working with Eddie Murphy and being able to do the best thing as a person--laugh at yourself -Niki McGloster
This is your second feature film. Tell me how it was working with this all-star cast.
It certainly was intimidating. I have this weird knack for working with people that I idolize and people who are huge, industry giants, so it’s a blessing but incredibly scary. It’s strange to kind of fathom that I belong in this film with these people so it was really scary jumping in.
Were you nervous meeting anyone in particular? You had a few scenes with Eddie Murphy and how that was?
That was probably the scariest part for me. I remember for weeks in advance I was kind of fretting to all of my friends about these scenes I have to flirt with Eddie, and what he it would be like. I was genuinely worried about it; I was worried about fitting in because I think I’m really funny by myself in my bedroom. [Laughs] I make myself laugh all the time, but am I really funny standing next to Eddie Murphy?
How do you feel about people seeing this funny side of you on screen?
I guess it’s a little bit of a 180 from Precious, but I laugh every time I see Precious. Inappropriately, in fact.
That movie is hella funny. If you didn’t laugh, I don’t know what movie you were watching. But it was a fun experience I probably laugh because I’m an inappropriate person.
[Laughs] How did you prepare for the accent in Tower Heist?
My best friend is Jamaican, and we’ve been best friends for 12 years now. Although she was born here in America, her parents were both born in Jamaica and my dad was born in Senegal, Africa. We’ve been making fun of each others' heritage for the entire friendship. She’ll make an African accent, and I’ll try a Jamaican accent. It’s really a huge part of our friendship. To do it on screen was scary because I’ve just been kidding. I would ask her different pointers and different phrases to say, and she would make sure I said them right. Also, I had a dialect coach. Three, in fact.
Who had you in stitches the most?
Eddie was always really funny, and I think he was funnier because of my perception of him. He’s such a sweet person and really nice, and in between scenes he would sing “Candy Man” by Sammy Davis Jr. in his accent, so it was really funny. It was kind of amazing to see a side of him that’s different than what I thought. It was really nice and endearing to be on set with people that I admire. They didn’t give me any pointers but trusted me with this film that was essentially theirs. They trusted me that I knew what I was doing. My back would be a little bit straighter, and I would stand up a little bit taller because I felt I could march around with them.
That's really awesome, and it's exciting that this is your second What’s next? Are there any other projects you’re going to be working?
I’m on a Showtime series called The Big C and it just ended it’s second season run and we also got picked up for a third season, so will be going into production for that in early 2012 which is great and exciting. I’m a huge fan of the show and working on the show so I can’t wait to go back. I also have a few other film projects in line, so it looks like I’ll be working this year. [Laughs]