Mo’Nique: The gay interview

MoNique1Mo’Nique isn’t one to hold back. Take her ongoing clash with Lee Daniels, who directed her Oscar-winning performance in 2009’s Precious. Daniels said the 47-year-old’s behavior got her “blackballed;” she, on the other hand, says Hollywood isn’t “playing fairly.”

The actress’ latest film, Blackbird, rolled into theaters earlier this spring, but she remains a draw onstage — she’ll be performing at at Arlington Improv July 10 and 11. Prior to her appearance, our Chris Azzopardi sat down with Mo’Nique to discuss how the back-and-forth feud wouldn’t stop her from working with Daniels again; her belief that if she doesn’t have to come out as straight, nor should LGBT people; and the childhood mantra that brings her comfort when the media is on her back.

Dallas Voice: Blackbird tells the story of someone who’s looking for acceptance from the outside world but also from within. Have you been there? Do you know what it feels like to be an outsider?  Mo’Nique: I think every human alive understands what it means to be an outsider. We’ve all been outsiders in one situation or another, so of course I’ve felt like an outsider before. But it’s OK to be an outsider.

What situation did you find yourself in that made you feel like an outsider?  Baby, when I wanted to be a high school cheerleader and they didn’t think I could wear the little small skirts and do the kick.

As an LGBT ally, where do you go internally to play someone like Claire, the homophobic mother in this film?  I go to honesty, because I know those mothers and I know those fathers that have and are having a really difficult time accepting the babies that they brought into the world. They can’t understand, “How can my baby be born that way?”

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Mo’Nique to star in film for ‘Noah’s Arc’ creator Patrik-Ian Polk


Patrick-Ian Polk

Academy Award winners and career heat: they go together like peanut butter and jelly. Unless you’re Mo’Nique, of course. Then you hang back and chill until something you really want to do comes along.

It took awhile but she’ll make her next big-screen appearance in the new indie from gay filmmaker Patrik-Ian Polk (Noah’s Arc) titled Blackbird.  She’ll co-star alongside Isaiah Washington and executive produce the film, which is based on Larry Duplechan’s novel about a black teenage boy (newcomer Julian Walker) coming out as gay in the South and dealing with divorcing parents and a sister who disappears. Due for a 2014 release after finishing production in Mississippi, look for this one to find its way to an arthouse (or VOD platform) near you sooner rather than later.

In other news: Remember that Richard Pryor movie that was supposed to happen with Eddie Murphy and director Bill Condon (Dreamgirls, The Fifth Estate)? It’s not happening anymore. That’s Hollywood. Oh, wait, now it might be happening again, just not with either of those guys. But the director may still be gay. Now talks with Lee Daniels (The Butler) have begun and, while Murphy is still being considered for the role, so are younger actors like Marlon Wayans and Michael B. Jordan (Fruitvale Station, the upcoming That Awkward Moment). Though Pryor died in his 60s, the biopic will cover the groundbreaking comic during his 30s, which would make a Wayans or Jordan choice more appropriate. And no matter what happens, don’t hold your breath for this one. It’ll probably happen eventually. 

The Ten Commandments: who doesn’t love those tips for living? All that shalt not murdering and avoiding covetousness and quitting doing it with your neighbor’s wife — they’re very popular. And now they’re going to be a miniseries from The Weinstein Company on WGN America. The 10-part scripted series will employ a variety of filmmakers to tackle each golden rule, people like Michael Cera, Jim Sheridan (Dream House) and Wes Craven (A Nightmare on Elm Street). Acclaimed gay directors Lee Daniels and Gus Van Sant (Milk) are also on board, putting their own contemporary (and maybe queer?) spin on the material. There’s no casting news yet but it could turn into a major ensemble event if everything comes together. One problem, though: If they include the one about graven images, doesn’t that make turning it into a film sort of automatically sinful? Oh well, can’t win them all, can you?

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

“Noah’s Arc” creator announces partnership with DFW Pride Movement to screen new film

Derrick Spillman announced today that his organization DFW Pride Movement will team up with Patrik-Ian Polk for a screening of his new film The Skinny. The director and creator of Punks and the TV series Noah’s Arc will be in attendance when the film screens in Dallas on April 20 at the Magnolia Theatre. Polk’s appearance will also include panel sessions to “discuss the HIV awareness story-lines in the movie and other sexual health issues of importance to the LGBT population.”

“I’ve been involved with the Black AIDS Institute since the early days of my Noah’s Arc television series, and I’ve been addressing issues of HIV and AIDS in my work since my first film Punks,Polk explains.So it makes perfect sense to partner with other African American LGBT organizations across the country to promote their great cause and highlight the HIV awareness issues raised in my new film The Skinny,” Polk says in the release.

The film has already opened in limited release in other cities but makes its debut here later this month. You can watch the trailer and read the entire release after the jump.

—  Rich Lopez