Precious star Mo’Nique has fueled her war of words with director Lee Daniels and producers of the acclaimed 2009 film by insisting she turned down the chance to promote the movie in France because they were not paying her to do so.
Studio executives offered her a top hotel room and other perks to attend the Cannes Film Festival, but she refused to give up downtime with her family.
Daniels has claimed the actress, who won an Oscar for her role as Mary in the movie, has been “blackballed” in Hollywood after refusing to “play the game” – but Mo’Nique insists she did everything she was contracted to do after signing on to star in a friend’s film.
Appearing on Access Hollywood Live on Tuesday she said,”I fulfilled all of my obligations; it was extras that they then wanted me to do.
“I say to all the women in America, when you work Monday through Friday, 40 hours a week, and then your boss calls you up and says, ‘We need you come in on Saturday and work for 10 hours’, do you do that for free, or do you say, ‘OK, what am I gonna be paid?’
“All I was saying is, ‘Guys, I don’t wanna work for free!’ I was paid $50,000 to do this movie and I’m not complaining because I signed up to do it with my friend and I didn’t have my business hat on, I had on my friendship hat.”
Mo’Nique reveals she offered to go to Cannes if she was paid for the trip, but studio bosses stood firm and insisted they would never pay an actor or actress to promote a film.
During a CNN interview at the weekend, filmmaker Daniels claimed his “friend” had been “blackballed” by Hollywood movie bosses because she made “unreasonable demands” during her Oscars campaign.
He said, “I love her, I’ve spoken to her. She’s brilliant, and I love working with brilliant people (but) sometimes artists get in their own way… I think that there were demands that were made on the Precious campaign that everyone knows hurt her. I told her that. You’ve gotta play ball. This is not just show, it is showbusiness.”
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