Gabourey Sidibe took the entertainment world by storm with her debut starring role in the moving film Precious. While Gabby may have shocked with her dramatic acting skills, she wants you to know she’s more than just Precious.
In fact, Gabourey shows off her impressive comedic timing in the new comedy adventure Tower Heist starring Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy.
We caught up with Gabby to chat about her Jamaican accent skills in the film, her attempts to move on from her iconic role and her surprising celebrity crush!
Check out our exclusive below, plus catch Tower Heist in theaters now!
A lot of people said you stole every Tower Heist scene you were in. Is that your goal now, to steal scenes?
Gabourey Sidibe: (Laughs) No, it’s not my goal! I’m certainly proud of myself should it happen, but no, my goal is really to keep working and be really happy about the work that I’m doing and also to be really proud of myself and continue to make my friends and family proud.
Do you think you’re doing that, making your friends and family proud?
I think so, no one has called and complained yet. They do complain about certain television appearances I do sometimes, though.
We saw one of the television appearances you did on Chelsea Lately, when it was Margarita Thursday.
Hell yeah! I only go on Margarita Thursday.
So margaritas are your favorite drink?
No, it’s not.
What your favorite drink?
Gosh, I think an old standby is an Amaretto Sour. When I first started drinking, you know, when I was 25, because I’m a late bloomer, I would only drink that.
In your films you do a lot of accents. From the one you did in Precious to the one in Tower Heist.
I did the accent because Brett Ratner wanted it in this film. I didn’t really want to do the accent and I was very apprehensive to do it because I didn’t think I had a believable Jamaican accent.
My best friend is Jamaican so I would speak in that accent with her, just to have fun with her but I certainly didn’t think it was up to par to be filmed and then judged by critics. But he believed in me and so he got me a coach. I really like doing accents. It’s fun, it’s challenging and it also takes me further away from myself and closer to the character.
What other accents can you do?
I do a really, really bad British accent. I do an even worse Irish accent. I do terrible accents unless I’m making fun of my dad who is African.
What’s next for you?
Hopefully more roles, although, I think I want to get more into writing a bit. I just now am starting to attempt to write a script and that’s a challenge in itself because the things I think are funny and think are relevant and are important to talk about might not be to the next person. So that is a bit of a challenge. But I think I’d like to move in that direction and maybe produce and maybe direct. I think that we’re all really talented and I don’t want to limit myself to just acting.
What do you think is funny? What’s your sense of humor?
I have a really dark sense of humor. I think not super terrible things, but some pretty terrible things are funny. I think average things are funny, what I grew up with is funny. I kind of grew up in the hood and so I think hood things are funny like rims on a…
On a punch buggy…
Exactly! I think that’s kind of funny.
Who are your celebrity crushes?
Who aren’t they? I have a lot! I’m weirdly crushing on Donald Glover. He’s on the show Community, he’s really funny and he used to write for 30 Rock and he went to NYU and he’s kind of a black nerd which I dig. He’s also a rapper and so I’m really into him and really embarrassed that I said that.
Have you spoken to him? Would you try to holla?
I did meet him once. I met him once and we sometimes email each other. I don’t try to holla because I’m very shy. I need to be hollered at (laughs).
What kind of music do you listen to, what’s on your iPod?
I listen to a lot of hip-hop and a lot of pop. I pretty much get into everything except for country and even some country music gets in. Right now I’m listening to Big Sean and Tyler, the Creator. I’m also into Justin Bieber at the same time. I kind of have an eclectic music taste.
Did you listen to either one of them when you ran that car into the security guard [for a scene in Tower Heist]?
No, I listened to D12’s ‘Fight Music’ before it. I usually listen to a lot of D12 on set, their first album, I really like that one and I also listen to a lot of Kanye West, specifically College Dropout. That’s my go-to. I listened to that on Precious. It’s my fight music.
Do people refer to you as Precious? Does that bother you?
I hate it! I understand it, I get it, it’s the name of the film and I guess it’s such an iconic character and it was also my first character so people know me as that, but I still really miss my name. I’m half Senegalese and so I have a Senegalese name and I also have a Muslim name, even though I’m Christian. But my name means something and it was given to me on purpose and so my parents also get really upset.
I do get it, it’s still annoying and I try to be patient and I’ll say hi my name is Gaby but sometimes people are so insistent on calling me Precious.
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