HOLLYWOOD — Moments after reaching Hollywood's greatest height, veteran comedienne Mo'Nique came backstage at the 82nd Annual Academy Awards. Speaking with the press, the always-outspoken Best Supporting Actress winner had plenty to say about paying tribute to a Hollywood legend, being a funny lady who can get serious, and those "politics" she alluded to during her acceptance speech.
"Everything I wanted to say — and everything I needed to say — I said," the 43-year-old "Precious" actress beamed. "I am a stand-up comedian who won an Oscar!"
Always a whirlwind to behold, Mo'Nique broke protocol by overtaking the Academy representative who typically calls on reporters, auction-style, acting as her own press agent instead.
"117! Is this how I do it?" she said to the roomful of waving numbers.
When one reporter asked about all those who told her for years that she couldn't be a star, Mo'Nique held her Oscar high and responded: "I feel like you can, you will — and I did."
Onstage, Mo'Nique made reference to Hattie McDaniel — the first African-American Oscar winner, in the same category as hers, for "Gone With the Wind." Backstage, she had more to say about the boundary-breaking actress.
"The reason why I have on this royal-blue dress is because it's the color Hattie McDaniel wore when she accepted her Oscar in 1940," Mo'Nique explained, saying the adornment in her hair also was a tribute to what McDaniel wore to the awards show. "I feel you all over me, and it's about time that the world feels you all over them."
A question some viewers have regards the "politics" Mo'Nique was referring to as she accepted her Oscar. Backstage, she explained that she was addressing those who thought she needed to "campaign" harder if she wanted to win.
"Through this journey and process, some journalists and some reporters wrote, 'Somebody needs to teach Mo'Nique a lesson; someone needs to teach her how the game is played,' " the actress explained. "I am proud to hold this Oscar in my hand, because the Academy said, 'We are not willing to play the game.' "
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