For many movie stars, an Academy Award nomination means being propelled straight to the top in Hollywood. But for Gabourey Sidibe, it was a different story.
The actress starred as ‘Precious’ in the Academy award-winning movie Precious. But what happened afterwards? This is Sidibe, 11 years later.
Gabourey “Gabby” Sidibe was born May 6, 1983 in Brooklyn, New York. Her mother, Alice, was a street performer and singer, while her father, Ibnou, worked as a cab driver.
Wanted to become a comedian
When Sidibe was young, her parents split. She grew up in Harlem, New York, but at a young age it wasn’t acting that was her passion.
“Gabby would say, ‘No, I’m gonna be a comedian,’” her mom told US Magazine in 2010.
She starred in several school plays as a child, but it wasn’t what she wanted. Since her mother worked as a performer in the New York subway, among other places, she had seen her struggle financially and wanted more stability for herself. That meant getting an education.
Growing up, Sidibe was often teased about her looks. In college, meanwhile, while hanging out with her friends who were in theatre, she noticed it was always someone else who got the attention.
Sidibe found her inspiration in comedian and plus-size actress Mo’Nique, and wanted to be just like her.
“I always thought she was really funny, but also she’s very confident in the way she looks, and that’s what I prayed about,” she explained in an interview with the NY Times.
“At that time in my life, I wanted to be everybody else, but I wanted to want to be Gabby.”