Mo'Nique ended up winning the best supporting actress award for her role in the Lee Daniels film. But after spending the better part of a decade putting out multiple projects a year, she abruptly stopped acting—a five-year hiatus, according to her IMDB profile.
Now she's back, focusing on an independent film. And as she tells it to THR, that's not exactly her choice—she's been told she's too difficult and too expensive to book.
What I understood was that when I won that Oscar, things would change in all the ways you're saying: It should come with more respect, more choices and more money. It should, and it normally does. Hattie said, "After I won that award, it was as if I had done something wrong." It was the same with me. I thought, once you won the award, that's the top prize — and so you're supposed to be treated as if you got the top prize.
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. The next thing he said to me was, "Your husband is outbidding you." But he never asked me what [salary] we were asking for.
The crux of the issue seems to be the fact that she declined to campaign for her Oscar, calling it "an award [she] didn't ask for," and, it would seem, wasn't paid to promote.
And though she ended up winning anyway, it seems execs are done with Mo'Nique professionally—she tells THR Daniels offered her several roles she couldn't ultimately book, including Oprah Winfrey's part in The Butler, a spot on Empire and a part in Daniel's Richard 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?"
"Her demands through Precious were not always in line with the campaign. This soured her relationship with the Hollywood community. I consider her a friend. I have and will always think of her for parts that we can collaborate on. However, the consensus among the creative teams and powers thus far were to go another way with these roles."
[image via AP]