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Living the Life

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Sidibe in a scene from Precious.  

After Precious, hard-core would be a snap; it was as tough to make as it is to watch. Daniels remembers filming a scene where local boys knock Precious to the ground. When Sidibe didn’t get up after the scene, “I go to hug her,” says Daniels, “and she is in tears, laughing. I’m like, ‘Why?’ and she said, ‘I’m a fat girl on the floor, what the fuck do you think?’ ”

Sidibe doesn’t remember saying those words, only that she was deathly sick that day, pushed to the breaking point, and pissed that one of the boys hit her in the head and not the lower back. Still, she says she never forgot that Precious was a character. “They were talking to her, they were not talking to me,” says Sidibe of her onscreen abusers. “I know I’m not a piece of shit or some random fat girl. I’m Gabourey Sidibe.” She pauses. “I just said my name in the third person!”

And, of course, Gabourey Sidibe is more likely to bitch-slap a boy than the reverse. Is she still juggling four or five boyfriends? “Yes, but I don’t want to get serious enough to call them boyfriends,” she says. “This one guy, I’ve deleted his number. I would text him at 7 p.m., and he’d be like, ‘I’m at BBQ’s.’ But the thing is, you don’t go to BBQ’s with your boys, you go with a girl. Then he’d call me at eleven. I’m like, ‘Why don’t you call me at six when you’re ready to go to BBQ’s?’ ” Her voice quickens with a touch of rage. “Don’t, don’t, don’t! I’m not a regular girl. I just got off a plane from France. You need to check yourself.”


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