Sidibe’s break-out role was inPrecious, Lee Daniels’ 2009 film about a girl who is sexually abused by her father and physically abused by her mother. She speaks with Terry Gross about landing the title role despite the fact she didn’t have acting experience, overcominganxiety and depression as a kid, and what it was like to work for a phone sex hotline:
“It was good practice for this interview right now! … You think that phone sex is about getting the caller off, but it’s about keeping the caller on. It’s about leading with your personality and making sure that they’re still listening and they’re still interested in you, because you cannot make money when they hang up. … They pay by the minute, and I get paid by the minute. …
[The company wouldn’t] hire you if you had no ability to make your voice white, because that’s who the men on the phone wanted to talk to. … The company was [run] by 95 percent plus-size black women. It’s so interesting that … we were all plus size and these men would not normally be into us, and if they were it’s a fetish or whatever. …
So it’s very strange to go from undesirable, into the office, you clock in, and [they say,] “I love you so much. I’ll call you every day” … but they think I’m white. … You think you’re talking to Megan Fox, but you’re talking to Precious. Look how dope and fierce and amazing and smart and genius we are to fool you into thinking that we’re the opposite.”
“But also because I am interested in “stuff”. I’m interested in history, I’m interested in politics. I’m interested in people who aren’t me. Which is another reason I guess I’m an actor, because you can pretend to be other people. If your lucky you can play those things as an actor, where you get to bring different interests in. But my main thing is just what it is to be human, what it is to be alive. I like vulnerability and honesty. An actor without vulnerability is a f$@king waste of space.”
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Actor Corey Fogelmanis (@coreyfogelmanis) has been performing since he was 6 years old, but it was around age 10 that it all really clicked. “I knew then that I wanted acting to be more than just a hobby,” says the 17-year-old California native, who’s spent the past decade performing onstage and on TV. Each setting brings its own set of rewards and challenges, but after working on a sitcom for the last three years, Corey is excited to take his acting chops back to the theater. “I love the intimacy of it, and that the audience and cast alike can experience something together that’s unique to a moment in time,” he says. “When it’s over, it’s over; it can only live on in our memories.”
As someone who’s spent much of his life in the spotlight, Corey is no stranger to the power of #KindComments. “To me, it’s about people going out of their way to spread positivity and build others up,” he says.