Mo’Nique gave a career changing performance in the 2009 movie Precious, as Mary, the abusive mother of the film’s star Gabourey Sidibe. But now she says that she’s lost a number of other big roles because she’s apparently too difficult to work with.
In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Mo’Nique says that she was offered roles by the producers of Empire AND director Lee Daniels,
I was offered the role in The Butler that Oprah Winfrey played. I was also approached by Empire to be on Empire. And I was also offered the role as Richard Pryor’s grandmother in [Daniels’ upcoming Pryor biopic]. Each of those things that he offered me was taken off the table. (Laughs.) They all just went away. But that’s just part of the business, you know? I can’t be upset at anybody, ’cause life is too good. It’s just what it is.
Mo’Nique is vague about exactly what it is she does that made the roles dry up. She quotes a conversation between her and Lee Daniels,
I got a phone call from Lee Daniels maybe six or seven months ago. 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.
What "game" they’re referring to? Us mere mortals may never know, but apparently Mo’Nique is too cool to play it. She does refer to being considered "difficult" on set, and defends herself and her husband actor/producer Sidney Hicks,
Whoever those people are who say, "Mo’Nique is difficult," those people are either heartless, ruthless or treat people like they’re worthless. And that’s unacceptable. They’re set to say, "Mo’Nique is tactless, she’s tacky." That’s why I have my beautiful husband, because he’s so full of tact, ’cause I’m a girl from Baltimore. I come from a blue-collar town — and being from that place, you learn not to let anybody take advantage of you. You don’t let people mistreat you. You stand up for what’s right.
There’s been rumors about Hicks wandering eye in the past, but Mo’Nique implies that their relationship is now as strong as ever.
Her relationship with Hollywood is a little more tenuous, however. as she’s trying to get a Hattie McDaniel biopic off the ground, but is apparently finding some friction. We’ll wish her luck with that, and assume it has nothing to do with her being "difficult".