The fact that Lee Daniels’ hit show “Empire” failed to get nominated for an Emmy for Best Drama Series came as a surprise for many in Hollywood.
For Mo’Nique, the snub came as an ironic twist after the “Empire” co-creator stated that she was “blackballed” by the entertainment industry after winning an Oscar for her work in the film “Precious.” According to the filmmaker, the blackballing stemmed from Mo’Nique not working with executives and filmmakers in promoting “Precious.”
With her Emmy nomination (Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie) for playing blues icon Ma Rainey in HBO’s “Bessie” and “Empire” coming up empty-handed in the drama series category, a case can be made for Daniels experiencing a case of bad karma.
“The truth never needs defending. We’re big believers in the law of nature, that what you put out is what you get back,” Mo’Nique told TheWrap.com about her detractors. “When people were saying those things, I understood it, but I knew it wasn’t true.”
Despite her issues with Daniels, Mo’Nique has nothing but love and praise for “Empire
“In reference to ‘Empire,’ I believe that it’s one of the most amazing show in television history. It’s breaking all kinds of records. When it comes to that show, I stand up and applaud it I applaud Lee Daniels and his vision. Everything that’s happening to that brother right now, he deserves it,” she said.
As for her Emmy nod, Mo’Nique admitted that it was her husband Sidney Hicks who informed her of the good news while having breakfast. With playing Ma Rainey, Mo’Nique mentioned that information about “The Mother of Blues” was hard to come by. As a result, she put her stock in “Bessie” director/writer Dee Rees to give her what she needed to nail her portrayal.
“There’s so little information on Ma Rainey in any history books,” Mo’Nique said. “But what [writer/director] Dee Rees put on paper — you felt like you were there with those women. She made it so easy. Every time Dee said ‘action,’ I would ask Ma Rainey to give me the words.”
Although she’s made her mark as an actress and comedienne, playing a singer is a different beast. Nevertheless, Mo’Nique ultimately triumphed as she reflected on if there was any trepidation about playing a vocalist.
“Let me tell you something baby, I’ve been singing my entire life. It’s other people that have a problem with it,” the entertainer joked to TheWrap. “I’m surprised I don’t have a Grammy yet.”
(Photo Source: Monique Instagram)