Gabourey Sidibe on Fitting In: ‘I Was Born to Stand Out’

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gabourey sidibeGabourey Sidibe has only been acting for four years, but she’s already accomplished more than many actors twice her age. Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for her work in the 2009 film Precious, Sidibe brings the strength and confidence of a veteran actor to her performances, and that’s never been more evident than it is in her captivating run as Queenie, the “human voodoo doll” witch on the FX series American Horror Story: Coven.

Parade magazine sat down with Sidibe to discuss this season of the hit show, being unconcerned with fitting in, racially charged storylines, and “taking the Minotaur by the horns.”

How did you get involved with “American Horror Story: Coven”?

“American Horror Story has been my favorite show since it first aired and, somehow, I ended up on it! I can only speculate that I did something nice for someone once and so my prayers were answered.”

What was your first thought when you found out about Queenie’s powers?

“My first reaction, as it always is, was to freak out! I worked very hard to keep myself from screaming my joy into Ryan Murphy’s ear. I’ve fantasized about being a witch my entire life, and being a “human voodoo doll” is just about the coolest power ever because it’s totally useful. Plus, I knew I’d get to do a lot of fun special-effects makeup and stunts like stabbing myself. I was really excited to learn how makeup artists use makeup (and I think just general, everyday magic) to fool the audience into believing I’m hurting myself or someone else.”

How do you think you’ve changed personally, and as an actor, in the four years you’ve been acting?

“Personally, I’m much more introverted than I used to be. I’m less likely to talk to strangers or have loud or emotional conversations in public. I don’t make friends as willingly as I did before, so I hold on to my actual friends very dearly. I’m a very careful person now. As an actor, I’m much more willing to embarrass myself if it will serve the story. I hunger for strange and daring stories. I’m less and less afraid of dark material and that’s really saying something, as my first role was an illiterate sexual-abuse victim with HIV. I’m also less and less concerned with fitting in. I was born to stand out. I don’t care whether or not people will find me attractive on screen. That’s not why I became an actor. I know that more and more with each new role.”

Read the full story at Parade.com

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