Yagg Paris caught up with filmmaker Lee Daniels, and chatted with him about his new film PRECIOUS, recently nominated for an Oscar. The story: Precious (played by newcomer Gabourey Sidibe) is a homely 16 year old girl who keeps to herself. Poor, black, fat, beaten by her mother (whom many of you will know as comedian, actress, and reality tv star Mo'Nique), and pregnant via rape by her second child from her father. Illiterate, Precious learns to take charge of her life through learning to read and write. On the way, she meets a social worker (Mariah Carey) and a professor-a lerbian who goes out of her way to help her.
Politically Incorrect subthemes
Openly gay Lee Daniels is a fascinating person. He began his career as an acting coach to several big Hollywood names (Nastassja Kinski, Morgan Freeman, Hillary Swank). His freshman effort as a producer Monster's Ball is about a white woman who falls in love with a racist white prison warden. Halle Berry got an Oscar for it and Lee Daniels became the first Black Hollywood producer to get such high recognition in Hollywood. Since Monster's Ball, Daniels has hit touchy subjects with his films: he also made The Woodsman, on the life of a pedophile (played by Kevin Bacon) after he exits prison. His directorial debut, Shadowboxer, showcased an unlikely yet very convincing couple-Helen Mirren and Cuba Gooding, Jr.
Precious has already won prize at several film festivals (Sundance, Deauville, Toronto), and hits the big screen in France on March 10.
The hit English-language blog Towleroad has a great interview of Lee Daniels on the heels of his Oscar nomination for Precious, which comes out March 10 in Paris. He discusses the challenges of defying racial and sexuality categorization as an out black and gay director, the joy of working with his superstar Gabourey Sidibe in the role of Claireece, and the frenzy of getting ready for the Oscars. A great interview with snazzy pics from Towleroad and Nathaniel R. over at the blog filmexperience.