Antebellum Star Gabourey Sidibe Says Oscars Nomination Did Her No Favors in Hollywood

The Oscars are acknowledged to be among the most prestigious awards in the world. Winning a Best Actor Oscar elevates you to a certain hallowed status in the film industry, practically guaranteeing leading roles with the best directors and biggest studios. But as Gabourey Sidibe, who was nominated for the Best Actress Oscar in a Leading Role for her debut film Precious, recently said, the opportunities failed to come to her after her recognition.

“I’ve heard the idea that I’m just lucky before. I’ve heard that. I’m an extremely unlucky person, actually. I’m very, very unlucky in a lot of ways. I work really, really hard though. I work really, really hard. An 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.”

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Back in 2009, Gabourey Sidibe was part of a new batch of Hollywood actresses who were being touted as the next big thing, which included Anna Kendrick and Kristen Stewart. But while Kendrick and Stewart were mostly known for the critically panned Twilight series, the two managed to land a number of prominent parts and play the lead in well-funded projects.

On the other hand, Sidibe found herself shunted off to the side, as though Hollywood did not know quite what to do with her. But despite the lack of attention that most Oscar nominees get, the actress continued to make her way in the industry by sticking true to her artistic voice and rejecting Hollywood’s parameters for success.

“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. I’m still working 12 years after having filmed it. 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 will next be seen in Antebellum. The film has been written and directed by Gerard Bush and Christopher Renz, and features a star cast of Janelle Monae, Eric Lange, Jena Malone, Jack Huston, Kiersey Clemons and Gabourey Sidibe. In the film, she plays best friend of an author who has to deal with a past that involves issues of slavery and opression.

Antebellum is described as a time-bending story that connects the lives of one Veronica Henley, who is a recent Columbia graduate in African Constitutional History, and Eden, a slave on a Louisiana plantation in the 19th century, with both characters being played by Janelle Monáe. The film arrives on premium video on demand Sept. 18. Collider brought these quotes first.

Neeraj Chand

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