Oscar-winning actress Mo’Nique is back on the big screen in her new film, Blackbird, five years after gaining critical acclaim for her groundbreaking role in Lee Daniels’ Precious.
Blackbird, which Mo’Nique and her husband Sidney Hicks executive produced, is by no means a film that “plays it safe.”
The movie stars Mo’Nique alongside Isaiah Washington and Hollywood newcomer Julian Walker and tells the story of a young man who struggles with his sexuality and the treatment of others while coming of age in a small Southern Baptist community.
The film includes several graphic love scenes between two men, and Mo’Nique says audiences shouldn’t consider the imagery on screen to be taboo.
“Was America ready to see a graphic love scene between a man and a woman, and is that considered graphic? See, when we put words like graphic in front of it, it’s as if it’s too much. ‘Warning — could be graphic!’ However, could two people that’s experiencing love, be graphic? So when you say is America ready; I believe America is ready for love.”
Mo’Nique says she hopes this film puts an end to the anti-gay rhetoric being preached in many churches across the country.
“The message that we hope that it sends is please stop allowing the devastation to our babies and let them be who they had no choice in being. That’s the message we hope that it sends. When you say we’re all God’s children — well would God want his children hurting one another, if we’re all God’s children?”
For the record, Mo’Nique says she is not opposed to playing a lesbian character in a film or TV show. In fact, she portrays the bi-sexual jazz singer Ma Rainy in an upcoming project for HBO.
“There’s a film coming out on HBO on May, 16th called Bessie, played by the fabulous Queen Latifah. Baby, when I tell you she is absolutely amazing! I play this character called Ma Rainey, who was openly bi-sexual with no apologies. But what was I doing, I’m playing a character.”
For two seasons, Mo’Nique held it down as a lady of late-night with her BET talk show The Mo’Nique Show. She says that, surprisingly, she didn’t set out in Hollywood to be an actress but rather a queen of talk. Mo’Nique hasn’t put to rest her talk show aspirations and is even considering the possibility of one day hosting a daytime talk show.
“When I came to Hollywood it was not to be an actress, it was to be a talk-show host… that is my passion. Baby you know I love to talk a lot now you know I do, love running my mouth! Who knows what tomorrow holds. Sydney and I had one of the best times doing that show and we’re thankful for BET for giving us those two years, because they didn’t have to give us that…that show was amazing.”
Blackbird will be released in select theaters April 24.