Blackballed, much? Think again. Comedian and actress, Mo’Nique has endured just about it all in the industry and continues to defy the odds with her unmatched perseverance.
Just in time for her long-awaited return to the big screen with the compelling drama, Blackbird, the Oscar winner covers Rolling Out Magazine’s latest cover looking fabulous and strikes a fierce pose as she stands with a mic in her hand with the million dollar question these days surrounding the outspoken starlet: “What’s so difficult about Mo’Nique?”
In the issue, Mo’Nique gets intimate with Rolling Out dishing her thoughts on being “blackballed” by the industry, the LGBT community, and her upcoming role in the HBO Bessie Smith biopic.
Check out a few excerpts from Mo’Nique’s interview below, and read the full feature here.
On homophobia in black culture: “There was a time that I really believed it was harder in the Black community because that’s the community that I’m involved with most and that’s what I saw the most. But once we began to take this to different festivals around the country, and you began to hear Latin brothers, Italian brothers, Asian brothers, Black brothers, White brothers — and they were all saying the same thing: ‘That’s my story.’ Most were saying ‘I was thrown away by my family’ or ‘the church didn’t accept me.’ So there was a time when I truly believed that our community was harder, but it’s all communities. It’s time that we have those open and honest conversations around the dinner table and in our churches — in the barbershops and in the beauty salons. When we have conversations where we walk away saying ‘Let me do the best I can and be the best human being I can be and treat people they way they want to be treated,’ overnight, [the world] just becomes a better place.
On making an effort to try and improve their world, regardless of being famous: I think you can take ‘celebrity’ out of it and say as a person, I think I’m an advocate for fairness. I’m an advocate for love. I’m an advocate for acceptance. And those things all fall under it. But to be an advocate and say ‘at what point as a human being, do we start treating one another the way that we truly want to be treated?’ I know what it is to be the underdog. I know what it is for people to say ‘We don’t want you to be a part of this.’ As I’m sure all of us have been in that place before. So we appreciate and like getting behind things that may change your perspective or help you think differently or show us how to love each other just a little better.
On the backlash from the industry: There are just things that happen that we don’t want to really take responsibility for and it’s easier to say ‘Oh well, they were being a diva. They were being difficult.’ No one wants to tell the whole story. People can say ‘Mo’Nique is difficult’ just because I’m simply holding you to your word and asking you to be respectful. I understand why people say it, but we don’t always know the truth. How do I feel about the backlash? I don’t. Because I’ve never been afraid of the truth.
On black women having more visibility in mainstream Hollywood: I applaud any sister in this industry that’s making it happen. Because we know that you’ve got to really work hard in this industry. Do we have a ways to go? Why of course we do. Have we come some ways? Of course we have. But I applaud all of the sisters who are saying ‘let’s continue to push and make this happen.’ Good or bad or however people are feeling — any time you take a step forward, it’s progression.