Gabourey Sidibe: ‘The Seas Didn’t Part for Me’ Like They Did for Anna Kendrick After Our Oscar Noms

Both Sidibe and Kendrick were first-time Oscar nominees at the Academy Awards in 2010.
Gabourey Sidibe attends the 33rd Annual Paleyfest : "Empire" held at the Dolby Theatre on Friday, March 11, 2016, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)
Gabourey Sidibe
Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP

Gabourey Sidibe and Anna Kendrick were both first time Oscar nominees at the Academy Awards in 2010. Sidibe was in the running for Best Actress thanks to her acclaimed breakout role in Lee Daniels’ “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire,” while Kendrick was in contention for Best Supporting Actress along with co-star Vera Farmiga for Jason Reitman’s “Up in the Air.” Both of these movies were up for Best Picture and Best Director, losing to “The Hurt Locker” and Kathryn Bigelow. Neither Sidibe nor Kendrick won Oscars, but Sidibe says Hollywood embraced one of them more than the other.

In a new interview with Collider to mark the opening of her horror movie “Antebellum,” Sidibe opened up about her life and career in the 10 years following her Oscar nomination. While Sidibe is grateful to be a working actress a decade after “Precious,” she’s aware Hollywood didn’t open its doors to her in the same way it did for an actress like Kendrick even though they’re nearly the same age and arrived on the scene at the exact time with breakthrough Oscar nominations.

“I’ve heard the idea that I’m just lucky before,” Sidibe said. “I’ve heard that. I’m an extremely unlucky person, actually. I work really, really hard though. And no, the Hollywood seas didn’t part for me in the same way that it might have for maybe Anna Kendrick who was nominated for the first time that year as well, who then went on to star in films and television and the whole thing. The seas did not part that same way for me and I assume that there are a few factors that made that so, but I am still working 10 years later.”

Sidibe continued, “I’m still working 12 years after having filmed [‘Precious’]. I have agency. I am comfortable with who I am. I know my voice. I know what I want to say to the world. I know what I want to give to the world and what I want to give to myself. I know my artistry. And so, you know, starring in things or being on the covers of magazines, all of these things that say that I’ve ‘made it,’ everything that solidifies my position on the A-list, whatever that means, doesn’t actually mean anything to my self-worth and my sense of artistry.”

Sidibe followed “Precious” with a supporting role in the Universal Pictures comedy “Tower Heist,” co-starring Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy, but her film career has otherwise been made up of indie projects. Sidibe found greater success on television with supporting roles in “Empire,” “The Big C,” and Ryan Murphy’s “American Horror Story” series. Kendrick’s post-Oscar career includes headlining Universal’s “Pitch Perfect” franchise, plus studio projects like “Into the Woods,” “The Accountant,” “Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates,” and the animated “Trolls” series, among others.

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