Uma Thurman felt a little like she was playing close to herself in Motherhood. With two kids of her own, taking on the role of a harried mom trying to keep it all together while starting a new career was something that Thurman connected with.
Parade.com’s Jeanne Wolf found out what jump-started Uma’s own desire to have a family
“Sometimes the film you’re in, that really wasn’t good while it was going on, is the thing that pushes you to take some positive action which you never would have done if you had an easy day. It was The Avengers that brought…”
Hilary Swank earned two Academy Awards for transforming herself into the characters she’s portrayed — the gender-busting Brandon Teena in Boys Don’t Cry and the tough, determined boxer in Million Dollar Baby.
Now, Swank is working her magic once again in Amelia, looking eerily like the legendary aviator who disappeared on a historic flight around the world. Parade.com’s Jeanne Wolf found out that Swank went beyond Earhart’s short hair, freckles and distinctive accent to find the woman whose determination and courage has stayed with her.
“She lived her life the way she wanted to live it, and she made no apologies for it. Even now that’s really rare, especially for women, because it’s still a male centric world. Amelia died in her 39th year just weeks before her 40th birthday. After diving deep into who she was and her huge influence, I guess what I took away is…”
Lee Daniels got Hollywood’s attention when he produced Monster’s Ball, which earned Halle Berry an Oscar for Best Actress. His most recent film is the equally powerful Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire. Talk about anticipation — there are debates all over Hollywood about which actors will get Oscar nominations.
When Jeanne Wolf talked with the director, he revealed his own tortured connection to the story of an obese teenager whose mother, played by Mo’Nique, is unrelentingly abusive.
“I just told her she had to be a monster who was abusive and unforgiving. Mo’Nique told me that she could do that by remembering her brother who treated her horribly growing up…”
Gabby Sidibe feels like she’s living out a Hollywood dream. The 24-year-old, who grew up in Harlem and had acted only in college productions, snagged the coveted lead role in Precious.
Making her debut as the obese and abused teenage single mom was a challenge Gabby wasn’t afraid to take. Parade.com’s Jeanne Wolf found out that, while the emotionally demanding role took a toll on Sidibe, it also changed her life.
“I had auditioned for Lee Daniels and I went to a meeting expecting to do another one. Then he just suddenly said, ‘I want you to be in my movie as Precious.’ I started crying. I just lost it. I know that sounds like a cliche, but it happened so fast that I was overwhelmed…”
Paula Patton began her career behind the scenes as a documentary producer, but she’s been upfront on the big screen in thrillers like Deja Vu, opposite Denzel Washington, and Mirrors, with Kiefer Sutherland.
Now, Patton is playing a strong-willed teacher in Precious, trying to give down-and-out inner-city students a new start on life and learning. She takes a special interest in Precious, an overweight, illiterate teenage mom with big dreams, played by Gabby Sidibe.
Parade.com’s Jeanne Wolf found out why Patton had a special connection to the role.
“She faces the challenge of a lot of teachers who deal with kids from very troubled home lives who have not gotten the education they need. But when she teaches them more than how to read, how to respect themselves, she’s like a tough love mom…”