Film festival darling Precious is a breakthrough not just for director Lee Daniels—who collected Tyler Perry and Oprah Winfrey to champion the movie—but also for star Gabourey Sidibe, who plays the abused main character. Though media reports paint her as “this downtrodden, ugly girl who got this role and now I’m awesome,” the truth is “I’ve been awesome, and then I got this role,” Sidibe tells New York.
Daniels, for his part, is enjoying praise from the likes of Oprah, who says of the film, “It was guttural. It was primal. It was—wow. That hit a nerve.” The director is “a little nervous about white people seeing this world,” he tells NPR, remembering abused children he knew growing up in West Philadelphia. “Because—this is mine. This is my world.”