IndieWire.com reports the filmmaker and Mo’Nique will collaborate on his upcoming feature film, “Blackbird.” The movie, which also stars Isaiah Washington, centers on Randy Rousseau (Julian Walker), a 17-year-old high school choir boy who struggles with religion, sexuality, a troubled home life, among other things while growing up in a small religiously conservative Mississippi town.
Mo’Nique will portray Rousseau’s mother Claire, whom Randy takes care of after his parents split up. When Claire discovers a shocking secret her son has been hiding, she blames him for the disappearance of his sister.
Although she’s received many film offers following her Oscar win, Mo’Nique’s husband Sidney Hicks admits “Blackbird” struck a nerve with the actor/comedienne.
“‘Blackbird’ is a film about the choices people are forced to make as they struggle to figure out how to be themselves. And why should just being who you are be a struggle?” Hicks said. “Since Mo’Nique won the Oscar, we have received numerous scripts, but nothing captured our attention until Isaiah, who we have a high level of respect for, sent us Blackbird. We became instant fans of Patrik-Ian Polk and knew we had to get behind this important film.”
In addition to co-starring in “Blackbird,” Mo’Nique will serve as an executive producer for the film, along with Hicks, through Hicks Media. Rounding out the “Blackbird” cast are Terrell Tilford, Gary L. Gray, Kevin Allesee, Torrey Lamaar, Nikki Jane and D. Woods. Washington will play Randy’s teen’s estranged father Lance, who steps in to give his son a hand as he struggles to make the difficult transition into manhood.
Mo’Nique’s involvement in “Blackbird” more than exceeds Polk’s expectations as the movie director expressed his appreciation for having the entertainer on board in front of and behind the camera.
“When we wrote the role of Claire Rousseau, we dreamed of attracting an A-list actress,” he shared with IndieWire. “So to actually get an Oscar winner of Mo’Nique’s caliber was literally a dream come true. And she’s quite simply amazing in the role.”
Although it is unknown when “Blackbird” will arrive in theaters, IndieWire’s Tambay A. Obenson expects the film “will make a 2014/2015 film festival premiere.”
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