Gabby Sidibe Reveals That Joan Cusack Told Her She Should “Quit Hollywood”

April 27, 2012  |  

Despite her undeniable talent, discussions surrounding Gabourey Sidibe frequently focus on her size. Recently when she sat down with Bravo’s Andy Cohen, a friendly game of “Plead the Fifth” turned a bit sour when she recalled an encounter with fellow actress Joan Cusack.

As Bravo says, “watch what happens…”

Does anyone else find it odd that this warning about image consciousness came from Joan Cusack? She doesn’t necessarily have a traditional Hollywood look either. But back to Gabby. I must admit, the woman handles the criticism very well. She could easily allow the constant criticism to dim her spirit or her light but she perseveres. You’ve got to respect that.

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  • megan

    i don’t think joan cusack meant the comment in a harsh or mean way. fact of the matter is that she said it before gabby was in precious; and other than just a tiny role here and there, gabby hasn’t done much work aside from precious. and furthermore, joan was probably trying to protect her from the harsh truth that most successsful actresses in hollywood are thin and white. fair or not, that it the truth. as someone who has struggled with weight her entire life, i feel for gabby, and i think it would benefit her to lose some weight. i think she is beautiful and talented, and hopefully we will see more from her in the future, but right now, its strictly her health she should be worried about. also, if anyone has a right to give her a warning about the business being very judgemental about looks, i think its joan cusack. joan cusack is a talented actress, but due to her less than stellar looks, she has never been given a big lead role. i think she was trying to protect gabby. like the comment or not, the truth is the truth, and sometimes telling the truth means hurting someone’s feelings.

  • Political correctness needs to stop. I think she is pretty, but her weigh shouldn’t be acceptable at all. Her hands looks like they are about to burst. Furthermore the media luv fat, ghetto style women (not that Gabourey is ghetto), but you get the point. They don’t consider, slim,pretty as a norm for Blacks. Hence how they have a very chubby, loud mouth in Glee, or that loud Black female character in ER (with no sex life what so ever),,,

  • FromUR2UB

    Why is it that every time I see this young woman, or someone asks her whom she admires, the object of her admiration is always someone white?  I hate when people wear that kind of admiration like a badge of honor.

    Anyway, think of the man you enjoy watching as a leading man in movies.  Now, imagine her playing his love interest in the movie…love scenes and all.  Well, no one would want to see that, not even in a romantic comedy.  Because of that, it’s not gonna happen and she’s limited in the kinds of roles she can play.  That’s just a harsh reality.  Shoot!  No one would want to see Joan Cusack with their favorite leading man.  So she knew what she was talking about.    

    Gabourey Sidibe has a beautiful smile, though.

  • Joan Cusack gave the comment to Gabourey Sidibe at an industry party.  Joan did not know who Gabourey was so the comment was probably made in a mean an nasty way.  With a look of “How dare you try and act looking like that”.  Truth be told.

  • Joan Cusack gave the comment to Gabourey Sidibe at an industry party.  Joan did not know who Gabourey was so the comment was probably made in a mean an nasty way.  With a look of “How dare you try and act looking like that”.  Truth be told.

  • Seriously

    I like that Joan said it to her face, others are saying it behind her back. She seriously needs to lose weight ASAP, get with the program and follow Monique and Jennifer hudson footsteps.

    • Queenie

      What roles are the ladies you referenced getting? jennifer hudson is a gimmick for losing weight and moniques show got cancled. i’m sorry but its true. While i think she should lose weight, being skinny isn’t the only thing tha tmakes a good movie.

  • Seriously

    I  like the fact that Joan said it to her face. So many people smiling in her face are saying the same thing behind her back. Gabby is obese, very unhealthy and should lose weight ASAP. Monique and Jennifer Hudson get the point. Hollywood skinny, beautiful actresses are struggling let alone a fat hollywood actress. Gabby, get with the program.

  • Pffffffff

    Joan Cusak’s old washed up a$% should be telling Kim KarTRASHian that, not Gabby!

  • Ms. Spring

    Shut up, Joan.  Your and your less-than-average face should fade away from Hollywood.  You weren’t that glamorous to begin with.

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  • IllyPhilly

    Joan Cusack with the face like somebody a$$ and a voice like nails? 

  • Lorenzo

    Joan Cusack should be the male between her and brother John, clearly he strikes a better image. She is hideous.

  • Gabby you have the most gracious personality, love you a lot, but a REAL Genuine person would tell you to hit the treadmill or adjust your eating habits, it is not healthy and its not cute either….Don’t do it for hollywood, do it for you! You have enough money to hire a nutritionist & a personal trainer, you seem intelligent enough to know that. I believe she is going to lose all that weight soon..

  • Nrsuperstar

    Hollywood’s job is to imitate real life for the purposes of inspiring, educating, and entertaining us.  Realistically, especially in America, there are all shapes and sizes of people, and somebody’s got to represent them all.  I doubt if large women watch “Precious” or “Tower Heist” or “The Big C” and say, “Gabby’s overweight, and since she’s a celebrity, then I guess it’s okay for me to be overweight as well.”  Nonsense!  I watch movies and tv to laugh and cry and learn and FEEL emotions, NOT to criticize the actors’ physical appearances.  If Hollywood only accepted a certain “type”, then the only movie we’d have would be “Stepford Wives”, and I really don’t think that was an Oscar winner, now was it?

  • wondertwin

    oh Lord. Half the people in Hollywood have been told they should quit early in their career.  Gabby is hardly being singled out.  If anyone’s self esteem is that fragile then they will never make it as an entertainer. Everyone so violently defending Gabby against the slightest bit of criticism is not doing her any favors.  Blind praise and chants of “chase your dreams girl!” does not erase the truth.  Her break out role was one that called for an obese black girl. Come on now. if that part had not come along does anyone think she would have beat out any mainstream actresses for a regular role?? 

    Actresses such as Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer have heavy acting chops. Others who aren’t quite in that league are gorgeous. If the camera loves you it compensates for alot. I don’t see either asset in Gabby’s favor. True she somehow keeps working.  But the novelty will soon wear off if Jenny Craig doesn’t get ahold of her soon!

  • mamatash

    However she meant it, she should of kept that to herself. That’s why we have so many insecure kids/teenagers in the world today because of people that make rude comments like that and not uplifting ones. I hope Joan doesn’t have any kids (God help them). We’ll run into a lot of let downs no matter who we are are what we look like, but if we let that keep us from moving forward we’d never get any where. Keep pushing forward towards your dreams and let no one shatter them.

  • Imjustsayn

    Well Joan Cusack can shove it! But I will say this, Gabby is extremely unhealthy and she is actually bigger than she was when she did Precious. Now I am not saying go try to be a size 2 BUT I think Gabby needs to seek help and become healthy and fit. Be the best body for her body type, she is not practicing this and the more I see her it is the first thing you notice about her. She is too short to be caring so much weight. I hope Gabby take que from Monique and practice becoming more health concious.

  • RedButterfly81

    Joan Cusak’s washed up old hag ain’t got no place to tell anybody to quit Hollywood, when was the last time she was in a movie or on TV? Gabby is a sweetheart and nobody shouldn’t tell anyone to quit their dreams!

    • e jerry powell

      Shameless. So, not that long ago, even back in 2012, when she was also in The Perks of Being a Wallflower. In fact, there hasn’t been a year since 1983 — the year that Sidibe was born — when Cusack hasn’t had at least one project on TV or film.

      Not trying to read, because your point that Cusack shouldn’t be so shady is taken, but you’re on the internet already, you could do a little research before you ask a question like that, sarcastic or not.

  • Lydia Moon

    Ms.Sidibe has worked almost non-stop since debuting in the movie, Precious, and she just wrapped on a new movie.  I’d say her show biz career is going just fine.

  • Why sould she quit? there are plenty of white ,skinny no talent white girls in the entertainment business getting paid. There’s a right way to give people advice , you don’t have to be rude to get your point acrosss. I’m pretty sure Gabourey Sidibe , has looked in the mirror and realized she has a problem. Unfortunatly, she hasn’t done anything about it yet.  I wasn’t there when Joan gave her that advice, but she sould  think hard and long before giving someone advice on there looks. Has she considered quiting or geting some plastic surgery done ? or least get her teeth fixed. I hope she realizes she get’s the roles she does because she is no great beauty.

  • justsayin

    please whatever man not being mean she does need to drop a few pounds she really does i dont care who call it hate but its a fact she should drop some weight sorry

  • Gabby Sidibe is beautiful and seems to have a nice personality. Health wise, weight loss would benefit her, but I’m sure she realizes that and has heard it countless times. No matter how you slice it, based on what Sidibe said, Cusack was rude, condescending and in the wrong. It’s ironic that she would tell Sidibe to quit her passion and dream when Cusack has never played the leading love interest, femme fatale, or attractive leading lady. The industry is image conscious and it has, apparently, been very conscious of *her* appearance too but that hasn’t stopped Cusack from seeking roles. Sidibe still has time to learn and grow to become an even better actress. Sidibe was nominated for a golden globe and won numerous other awards in her first role. She and Cusack are currently both on a Showtime series. So no thank you, Cusack.

  • Cheryl

    “quit your job..”, (JC)  Meant in a good way????  Not.   But Gabby enjoy your career and I wish you all the best.  You have great energy and personality.

  • Sanderschykim

    joan cusack…shouldnt point fingers, unless her hands are clean!

  • I can only imagine how Gabby felt when she heard that.  It was harsh and uncalled for.  No one has the right to tell you to abandon your dreams.  NO ONE!!

    • Papillon

      Exactly. It doesn’t matter if Joan thought she was trying to be helpful or even telling the Gabby truth. You just don’t tell a complete stranger how to live their life. It’s plain rude. Boundaries, people!

      I always liked Joan because she’s a bit offbeat/quirky and there’s not too many actresses like that in Hollywood. Very disappointed in her if what Gabby says is true.

  • Eilene4444

    There’s no need to play the black card AngelB33.  I never realized Joan Cusack was such a lowly individual…she has shown the public just how hateful and sinister she really is.  My opinion of her has been changed forever and I previously thought she was a talented and funny lady, but no more.  I find her repulsive and now view her as a bully teenager that never grew up…someone who does not have the grace to be humble and grateful for what she’s accomplished and someone who needs to bash others because deep down she is an angry mean girl.  She would have said it regardless of your color. Bringing color into the equation just makes you seem undignified.

    • really?

      she wasn’t being mean she was being realistic…

      • Stans4Forreals

        Seeing that Gabby went in to be in an acclaimed role that garnered her an Oscar nomination I’d say Joan wasn’t bring very realistic! In fact I can look it up but as I’m typing this I don’t ever remember Joan cusack getting an Oscar nomination…

    • Angelb_33

      feel free by all means, i’m not a racist i was just stating nothing with me saying that and you may be right. i have, family, friends, different race and places. In the world especially hollywood it is what it is. its either one or the other or all the above. I’m not gabby and don’t know how the story goes. and im sure you not joan and was not there yourself. gabby was asked, she shared, media placed joan as a mean person. we don’t if she meant well or not. its not what you say its how you say it. and if had nothing good to say, don’t say a d@#& thing.

  • Squeezablechic

    Sometimes the truth hurts. If it was 1920, she would have no trouble getting a role as Mammy. It’s 2012, and few black actresses are working. Not to mention that being that overweight is just not healthy. She should really consider Joan’s advice: either lose weight and perfect her acting or quit!

  • I like that Gabby is a bubbly outgoing person. Must be hard in the industry she works in. But I am still eternally uncomfortable watching Gabby’s interviews. Look, she needs to lose weight no two ways about it. Why do we berate anorexic and bulimic women but we can’t do the same for our sister who is too young to be that big?

    • Queenie

       This comment is complete BS we berate bigger women more than you will ever hear about someone who is anorexic because that is seen as a ‘disease’ and fat people apparently choose to be that way. reevaluate

  • Tyra

    I think Joan Cusack took a look at Gaby and told her the truth i.e. Hollywood is not kind and rarely welcomes actors who are overweight and don’t have that certain ‘look’. Gaby is young and I’m sure Joan knew what this would do to her self esteem. Let’s call a spade a spade and not a big spoon here – Gaby is Obese but she hasn’t let her weight define her. Having struggled with weight issues all my life, I can relate to her quite a bit and I wish her nothing but the best.

  • LOL:)

    Gabbie is being exploited, period. She is supposed to represent “real” Black women in the media. I can’t believe that no one else sees this. The other night, she was on Jimmy Kemmel flapping her arms back and forth making her fat jiggle. There are no actresses of any other race that look like this. She isn’t a great actress and is being exploited by the media. Watch her show on Showtime and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

    •  I wonder when people are going to start addressing the fact that gabby is dangerously obese — morbidly obese. Why is this the aesthetic that’s being thrust on Black women?

      • really?

        because the fat police will come in here and browbeat us all to death.

    • imjustsayn

      I feel you 100% I saw her on Jimmy Kimmel and I watched it because I love Gabby personality but when she walked out and shook her arms back and forth AND she now snorts hard when she laugh made me feel embarassed for her. She clearly is not comfortable with all the weight AND she has put on extra weight since the movie. She was adjusting herself and her clothes in the interview on Jimmy the entire time. Time to do something about your health Gabby. Face so big I can hardly see her eyes now.I personally don’t want black women being represented by Gabby, sorry hun love ya but no sweetie no! Get it together!!!

      • ITA. The chair in the clip above is not big enough for her.  Her STOMACH is coming out of the sides! I’m obese myself and have lost weight: at my highest, everything hurt and I had sleep apnea. I can’t imagine how painful it must be to weigh as much as she.

    • wondertwin

      I have not seen the show but i get a definate sense of what you are saying.  It helps that Gabby is a total anglophile. Not only did she mention Joan Cusack as her favorite actress but all her celeb crushes and what-not are white. Nothing wrong with it but my point is Gabby is overly enamoured with Whites and it facilitates the exploitation you speak of.

  • Educatediva101

    Oh wow! Like Really Joan! Haven’t seen you in anything lately! Duh!

    • imjustsayn

      Actually Joan Cusack is on a show called Shameless which happens to be one of my favorite shows on ShowTime NOT because of her though. She got alot of nerve talking about image when she is the most funniest odd shaped woman put together!

  • Joliee

    Why are people taking this the wrong way. She was giving her advice not berating her. Look any one who wants to say that Gabby Sidibe will find memorable acting roles in the future and be cast as a love interest in a romantic comedy or play someone important in a biopic is not realistic. Lets be real its already hard for bi-racial and black actresses to be cast in good roles even the drop dead gorgeous ones, how much harder would it be for Gabby. Remember
    Nikki Blonsky  i wonder where she is? The only big boned actress getting any job is Queen Latifah and she is a veteran

    • Allie1234

      Nikki is working at a hair salon sweeping hair.

    • Its sad but true.

  • wondertwin

    In my opinion she should quit because she can’t act.  Seriously, I can see why Joan gave her that advice.  I am sure it was from personal experience, losing roles to more mainstream actresses herself.  It’s a tough business. I also find it odd that Joan Cusack is her favorite actress. I dunno…wierd.
    As much as I want to be enthralled with Gabourey Sidibe, I just can’t get on board.  Besides Precious I saw her in Tower Heist. Not impressed with her acting ability in the least.  I think everyone is falling at her feet now in an effort to prove how “accepting”  they can be.  And to her credit the girl is eternally positive and bubbly.  If she keeps finding roles kudos.  Perhaps I just don’t know good acting when I see it, ’cause I’m not seeing it.

    • Eilene4444

       I haven’t seen Gabourey Sidibe act but I give her a lot of credit for going forward in spite of her weight…that should be encouraged not put down.  How can anyone say she wasn’t berated when another one of her peers told her to quit???  If that’s not a kick in the pants and heart, than what is??  Get real.  I think she named Cusack as a favorite to counteract the ugly that Cusack spewed.  Gabourey is younger, smarter, happier, and more graceful than Cusack will ever be.  Let’s hope she stays that way and doesn’t let the egotistical and callous predators cause her to stray from her beauty…inside and out.

  • justme

    I think she took that the way it was meant.  joan was probably trying to get her  to avoid some heartache.

  • Joan has taken the back seat to her brother John since the 80’s. Remember “16 candles” where she only did comic relief and is credited as the “bull jock”? Her career sucked so she has no right to tell Gabby that she needs to stop anything. She’s just jealous. Go Gabby!  

    • justme

      Oh please.  joan cusack rocks.

      • Oh please,  Joan Cusack has not made any impact in Hollywood.  Her brother John has made a couple of decent movies.  Gabby was nominated for an Oscar in her first movie.  What do you have Joan Cusack?  Your looks are not Hollywood style.  I can’t even remember Joan Cusack’s last movie.  Cusack seems bitter.

      • Oh please,  Joan Cusack has not made any impact in Hollywood.  Her brother John has made a couple of decent movies.  Gabby was nominated for an Oscar in her first movie.  What do you have Joan Cusack?  Your looks are not Hollywood style.  I can’t even remember Joan Cusack’s last movie.  Cusack seems bitter.

  • Ummm joan cusack…wtf are you… oh you’re John Cusack’s sibling..stay that way & stfu,

  • Angelb_33

    through the changes all i made guess what i mentally still feel plus size chic and don’t reget it, so to all the haters and celebs who bash a plus black celebs don’t be so quick to judge GOD has her there and bless her to be there for a reason.  Gabourey Sidibe, Monique and the other continue to not down those barriers in hollywood.

  • Angelb_33

     Gabourey Sidibe you are beautiful i salute you as a black individual, i know it took a lot and you may not have been the first tyo indure such let down advice god is good you took it and flip it. Joan Cusack can go look in the mirror again and jump in the fountain of youth, or give it up herself. She needs to back off. I know what its like to be plus size and i now know what its like to be slim, and be labeled thick. I once was 310 lbs, now 175 lbs its not easy and the world needs to back off let people be. No matter; what I’m walking example people not gonna like or ever accept you, no matter what. beauty skin deep. That’s why its called put You First, Luv You and be a winner for you, when its all over, all you have is you and those that accept and love you for you.