There is no denying that Precious has got critics and audiences in a lather, with audiences at Sundance, Cannes, and TIFF lauding the harrowing adaptation of Sapphire's first novel. Mo'Nique's performance as Precious' horrendously abusive mother monster Mary has also gotten folks humming about an Oscar nomination for the comedian, who readily acknowledges the dark places she had to go for this role. She told Eric Kohn in an interview at last year's Sundance that she herself was sexually abused and "The person who molested me was a monster. So I had to go to that person, because I know what it was like for me. [Daniels] said action, and be that monster." And wow, what a monster she became; each scene she was in cut closer to the bone. I covered my eyes in at least one scene and left the screening room slack-jawed.
But Roger Friedman at the Hollywood Reporter writes that Mo'Nique skipped press for the film at Cannes, TIFF, and the New York Film Festival, and that her newest publicist of just two weeks quit. Friedman writes "that Mo'Nique has gotten herself a reputation for demanding money for showing up to promote Precious. It's a first in Oscar history."