Academy Award-winning actress Mo’Nique made headlines last week for her interview with The Hollywood Reporter, in which she recalled director Lee Daniels stating that she had been “blackballed” in Hollywood since winning her 2010 Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her role in “Precious.”
The 47-year-old actress said that Daniels blamed her anemic efforts to “play the game” while promoting the 2009 drama, which also scored Geoffrey S. Fletcher an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.
And while Daniels, the executive producer of “Empire,” has stood by his comments to Mo'Nique, legendary actress Sheryl Lee Ralph recently offered her thoughts on his theory during an appearance on “Access Hollywood Live.”
“What’s interesting about that is, she didn’t campaign. I wonder, do you think that they would blackball Tom Hanks for not campaigning for a movie?” Ralph asked hosts Billy Bush and Kit Hoover. “The game is different for women."
"We don’t know what was going on with that person," Ralph said. "She might have been in a state of her mind where she said, ‘I cannot go out there and do this with all these people without causing harm to myself.’ We don’t know what was going on in her mind.”
The “Dreamgirls” star, who worked alongside the Mo'Nique on the ‘90s television sitcom "Moesha," went on to suggest what the comedienne should do to execute a successful comeback.
“A whole lot of actors are difficult. And there’s a whole lot of actors who are mean and terrible, but they work all the time,” Ralph said. “It goes back to who likes you, who wants to be in your kind of crazy company. Who wants to give you money in hopes they’ll get something back on the return on your madness. And sometimes you just need to shut up, sit there and look pretty … But I think this is a setup for a comeback.”
“Now, when she comes back she better be as tiny as you,” Ralph said, gesturing at Hoover. “She don’t need to be Mo’Nique anymore, because obviously what she was did not work. So she better come back brand new. That’s what they’re waiting for. And if a big-time producer says to you, ‘You have been blackballed,' what he is really doing is looking at you and saying, ‘You ain’t never working with me again.’”
Check out more of Sheryl Lee Ralph’s thoughts in the video.