First of all let’s understand who she is. She deserves her respect. She has had a successful career as a stand up comedienne, talk show host and lead actress. Mo’Nique won The Best Supporting Actress award for her role in the Lee Daniels film Precious. But after a five-year hiatus, she’s back, focusing on an independent film. It’s an important independent film. “Blackbird” premiered last year at the Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles and has been on the festival circuit since then. The film has received “best feature” honors at Outflix Memphis, Atlanta’s Out On Film, Reeling in Chicago, and the Crossroads Film Festival. The film ‘Blackbird” stars Walker as 17-year-old Randy, a devout choir boy living in a conservative Mississippi town, struggling to understand his sexuality while also caring for his mother following his sister’s disappearance.
When I started my conversation with her I was not sure where it would go. I wanted to talk abut the film, but the lesson she gave was far deeper than just a film talk.It actually delved deeply into a life lesson.
Elev8: Why did you choose Blackbird?
Mo’Nique: Well, to be honest by the time we were done reading page 1 of the script we were saying it was necessary. I just knew right then that I had to do it. It is something that we have talked about and knew was going on in our communities for a long time. I just knew that this was a story that I could authentically tell.
Elev8: What do you think is the hard part about filming it or for that matter the subject matter?
Mo’Nique: That’s really not the question we have. The tre question we have is: when did we decide to love is hard? How do we have the right to stop someone from loving another? We have been conditioned to believe that we can stop and start love at a whim.
Elev8: What was it like playing Clara?
Mo’Nique: I knew Clara. I know mothers like Clara. I was being honest to who she was and what she was about.
Elev8: What is it like working in the film business or for that matter working and choosing your projects?
Mo’Nique: (laughs) Independency. When I first got into this business there weren’t many opportunities. That’s one of the things that Sydney and I are proud of. We can work on projects like this and bring them to a real authentic light and life. We can portray things and relationships in a real way. I can work on projects and tell stories that have real heart. I think we women came along at a time where we did necessarily see how to authentically love.
Elev8: What do you think is missing from our couple now?
Mo’Nique: I think we are missing out on the detail of how to love our men. Love unconditionally without judgment. I know my place in my marriage. I didn’t understand that in my first marriage or my second marriage. I understand now what it means to be a mommy and a wife. I understand what it means to be a submissive wife. I don’t mean that in a negative sense, but in a loving way. We didn’t see our mothers or aunts teaching us how to love our men.I understand what it means to honor.
Elev8: How did we get here in relationships without love?
Mo’Nique: You take honor in letting them lead. You understand what that sacred love and partnership brings. I have learned so much. In the beginning I didn’t have the tools. I never saw the example. I had to learn. We need to truly love out our men. We didn’t see that growing up. We didn’t see our mothers loving our fathers. We saw our mothers, grandmothers and aunties being strong women. We didn’t see them loving their men. We didn’t see that example. We didn’t learn that and what that takes.
Elev8: How do we get that back?
Mo’Nique: I think it starts with talking. WE have to have real conversation. Let’s not text each other. We are really starting to move further and further away from each other with social media. We are not connecting to each other. That is what our love needs. To genuinely,honestly talk to each other, not at each other. We need to take a stand and start to band together to love.
Elev8: What about you? What do you plan?
Mo’Nique: Tomorrow. I just hope to get to tomorrow. I try to take it step by step and be truly in the moment.
Watch the trailer for the movie below that I am sure Mo’Nique will earn a nomination for: