When Mo'Nique took home an Academy Award for her daring performance in "Precious," many assumed the Oscar would be the beginning of a long film career, for which she would be paid handsomely. But as the comedian-turned-actress told HuffPost Live on Tuesday, that substantial Hollywood payday never came.
Mo'Nique saw her career stall after her Best Supporting Actress win, but she was quick to clarify that it wasn't because she was "blackballed." Instead, she revealed that the job offers she received fell short of her expectations, so she turned them down.
It wasn't that I was blackballed. The offers that we were getting were lower than the offers that I was getting before I won an Oscar award. So my husband [who is also my manager] and I had to simply say, "Guys, if we keep accepting those offers, where does that leave us? That doesn't make any sense". ... We simply say, "Can you pay according to the resume?"
Tyler Perry, who signed on along with Oprah Winfrey to promote the film, also had inflated expectations for the actress should she win the Oscar. Mo'Nique said Perry advised her to play the Oscar campaign game for that reason.
"He said to me, 'Mo'Nique, you really should consider the stand you're taking not campaigning for the Oscar,'" Mo'Nique recounted. "He said, 'Because if you get nominated, your next movie will [pay you] between $3 to $5 million.' He then said, 'If you win it, you'll get between $6 to $8 million."
Mo'Nique told HuffPost Live's Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani she wasn't interested in traveling overseas to do additional promotion for "Precious" unless a paycheck was involved -- even if it would give her a better shot at winning an Oscar.
"For people that play the game, they wind up getting played," she said. "That's why I never wanted to partake in the game. [My manager, attorney and I] just want to have fair and good business. That's it."
And Mo'Nique stood her ground on the issue, despite Perry's advice.
"I said to Tyler Perry in that meeting, 'Listen baby, I don't care where the money comes from. You can give me the money for me to go overseas to promote this movie,'" she said. "And he said, 'Monique, I'm not in the business to write checks and give away money.' And I said, 'Tyler, I'm not in the business to work for free.'"
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