I haven’t posted a Patron Saint in a while, but yesterday’s Oscar nominations prompted this very special one for me.
While not technically unemployed (she was a student at Mercy College), this 26-year old had never acted professionally. That is, until Director Lee Daniels came along auditioning for “Precious” Jones, the lead character in his film “Precious”, based on the novel Push by Sapphire. As an aside, I’ve had this book on my radar for years, but have yet to read it. It’s now on my bedside table.
Gabourey Sidibe has since become the darling of Hollywood. She’s been nominated for Best Actress in every awards program imaginable (Academy Awards, Golden Globes, SAG, BAFTA, Independent Spirit, etc.). While it seems she’s been consistently bested by Oscar shoo-in Sandra Bullock, I believe she leads the pack with her performance in this heart-wrenching film. I left the theater grasping at my heart and feeling jubilant for this girl who, on screen, goes from an abused, pregnant sixteen-year old with a four-year old child by her own father to a woman with all-out gumption and a plan. Throughout, Gabourey makes Precious real and palpable. You just want to give her a big hug. On the red carpets, Gabourey presents herself as a young, fun, confident woman. I just want to hang out with her!
Anyhoo–that is why I’m naming Gabourey Sidibe a Patron Saint of the Jobless. She went from an unknown student to a world-class actress overnight, teaching all of us that anything is possible.