Actress and now author, Gabourey Sidibe stopped by to chat about her new memoir This Is Just My Face: Try Not To Stare, available now!
In the book, she shares the incredible story of her life as a college psychology major working as a phone sex operator while training as an actor. It was eventually her Oscar-nominated role as the title character in Lee Daniels’ Precious that sky-rocketed her into superstardom and let her quit her job at the sex hotline.
The 33-year-old New York City native has been ruling the TV world in FOX’s hit show Empire as sassy assistant turned A&R executive Becky. She has also had parts in American Horror Story’s Coven (season 3), Freak Show (season 4) and Hotel (season 6). Most recently she played the role of Ella Fitzgerald in Drunk History’s ‘Ella Fitzgerald’s Big Break’ episode on Comedy Central.
We were so excited to learn that Gabby has been a fan of Elvis Duran and the Morning Show for years! “I have been listening to you guys since I was like 8 or 9, very young, I grew up here and I just realized after talking to you guys in the green room, this is like meeting the cast of The Muppets for me … you guys have been like alive in my life like ushering me off to school every morning like forever,” she told us.
Sidibe, who has often said that she was born cynical, admitted that she never meant to write a book.
“I didn’t mean to write a memoir, I thought I would write funny stories about […] what it’s like to be nominated for then lose an Oscar, you know I thought I would talk about dumb things like that,” Sidibe told us. She continued, “There’s a bunch of stuff in my life I had to work through and then I guess I did it and then I sold it.”
The memoir touches upon some of the mental-health struggles Gabby has had with depression, celebrity life, race, and weight.
“I get a rap for being confident, but I have to put my confidence on multiple times a day – it’s like lipstick, you know what I mean, lipstick will wear off, confidence will wear off, sanity will wear off. You have to work at it.”
The radiant cover photo of the book shows off Gabby’s newly slimmed-down figure after going through laparoscopic bariatric surgery in May of 2016, following a type 2 diabetes diagnosis.
“You have to live with yourself every day, so you have to make sure that your brain, your emotions, your sanity [are] in check and that you’re okay.” She later continued, “You are responsible for your happiness in the same way you are responsible for your unhappiness.”
Fans started to notice her diminishing size before she went public about the surgery. In a September 2016 Instagram post, the actress wanted to show-off her novelty Biggie Smalls t-shirt but was met with warm and encouraging comments from fans about her weight-loss.
What’s next for Ms. Sidibe? She wants to be in a season of FX’s Feud!
“The best idea for Feud is Aretha Franklin and Patty LaBelle and Dionne Warwick. It would be everything! […] I have the Holy Ghost in here talking about how good this season of Feud would be.”
Check out our video interview + pics with her below: