Oscar winner Mo'Nique signs on for her first film since 'Precious'
Nearly four years since she took home an Oscar for her devastating performance in "Precious," Mo'Nique is finally reemerging with a new film.
The actress has signed on to star in "Blackbird," an adaptation of the 2006 coming-of-age novel by Larry Duplechan that she will also executive-produce through her and husband Sidney Hicks' Hicks Media production banner. Also onboard for the film, which is set to be directed by Patrik-Ian Polk ("Noah's Arc," "The Skinny"), are Isaiah Washington ("Blue Caprice"), Terrell Tilford, Gary L. Gray, Kevin Allesee, Torrey Lamaar, Nikki Jane, D. Woods and newcomer Julian Walker.
"Blackbird" tells the story of Randy Rousseau (Walker), a 17-year-old choir boy living with his family in a tight-knit Mississippi town who not only struggles with his "misfit" status in the religiously-conservative community but is consistently plagued by a series of disturbing premonitions. Randy's world becomes even more complicated when the sudden disappearance of his younger sister results in the breakup of his parents (Mo'Nique and Washington) - an event his grief-stricken mother blames him for after discovering a shocking secret he's been hiding.
"'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?" said Hicks in a statement. “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."
Best known for her comedic work in such films and TV shows as "The Parkers" and "Phat Girlz" early in her career, Mo'Nique stunned critics and audiences with her heart-wrenching portrayal of a child-abusing welfare mother in "Precious," a performance that netted her a slew of awards including an Oscar, a Golden Globe and an Independent Spirit Award. Directed by Lee Daniels, the film premiered at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival - incidentally a venue that seems well-suited for this latest venture.