Sheryl Lee Ralph raised more than a few eyebrows with what she said about Mo’Nique during her interview with “Access Hollywood.”
For those that don’t know, the “Dreamgirls” star weighed in on Mo’Nique saying she was “blackballed” for not campaigning to win her best supporting actress Oscar for “Precious.” In her opinion, Ralph believes that Mo’Nique would need to humble herself and reinvent herself as someone other than the Mo’Nique people know in order to mount a successful return to film.
While her views may have been perceived as a slam against Mo’Nique (“…sometimes you just need to shut up, sit there and look pretty…”), Ralph took time out to set the record straight on where she was coming from to MadameNoire.
The following is what Ralph told the site during the interview:
After the media started picking up your interview, you reached out to Mo’Nique last night via Twitter, what did you want to let her know.
You know sometimes media can make things seem like what they ain’t. And I was just like girlfriend, ‘Now you know…’ And she was like ‘Diva, now you know I know.’ And then she made me laugh. She made a reference to my very first film, ‘Piece of the Action.’ And the character Barbara Hanley has a very famous line in terms of when people try to turn things on you. So she made me laugh out loud. In fact, I told her I’m rolling on the floor, laughing out loud.
What was your intention going into the “Access Hollywood” interview?
We all know that in every walk of life–I don’t care if you’re sewing dresses, I don’t care if you’re an adjunct professor, I don’t care who you are–there is a game of life to be played. What might it be? They were talking about the fact that Mo’Nique had done an interview saying that she had been blackballed and Lee Daniels said ‘Look, you’ve been blackballed or you’ve done some things and maybe you didn’t campaign as strongly for ‘Precious’ and folks remember that.’ And I thought it was very interesting how, in this game of media, she’s being chastised, blackballed–whatever you want to call it– for not being able to promote the film. And I just said you never ever know what the state of someone’s mind is and their ability to do the job you need done at that certain time. And you heard me say it. Would they have done the same thing to Tom Hanks? It’s a different game for women, no matter what color you are. And it’s different, especially when you put color on it. We know this. I just want folks to know that sometimes folks can’t always do what people are expecting of them. You can’t.
Like Dave Chappelle. He just could not do what people were asking him to do. He was not in that state of mind. And he had to walk away from a few million dollars. And everybody thought ‘Well, why would he do that?’ He had to do it to save himself. And sometimes people don’t understand that, they just want to throw you under the bus or throw you out there when really what you’re trying to do is take care of yourself.
Some interpreted that to mean you knew that she was in a bad mental space…
We don’t know what her state might have been. I’m just putting that out there, what if. I don’t know but what if. What if she needed a break after shooting a very intense film like that?
Folks should be paying attention because anybody who watched the interview, knew exactly what I was saying. Anybody who read a headline completely did not get what I was saying because the headline was misleading and taken out of context. So anybody went off of a headline and then just judged me on a headline has learned that sometimes you need to read, sometimes you need to dig deeper. Sometimes you need to look for the truth. But realize the game has started. And we are winning because people are talking.
Read the rest of the interview at MadameNoire.