Team behind the Oscar winner’s latest film found star Julian Walker in a small Mississippi town
Five years after winning a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role in “Precious,” Mo’Nique is returning to theaters in “Blackbird.”
The independent drama centers on a deeply religious high school student in a small Mississippi town, who struggles with the fact that he may be gay.
“He went the regular route initially,”
The film’s director has previously said the actors who turned the drama down cited anti-gay religious convictions, including one who insisted “Jesus told me not to take” this part.
Their concern centered around the film showing Walker’s character Randy Rousseau losing his virginity to a girl, but later realizing his true love is a man. It includes several graphic love scenes involving two men.
Despite those concerns,
But she admitted those realistic scenes may have been a turnoff for some Hollywood actors.
“I think because of what it may have said or what it may have looked like. ‘Oh you kissed a man. Oh you’re lusting for a man’… However, when you watch Julian’s performance, that baby may save lives with other young men and women wanting to say ‘this is who I am.'”
Walker, who is openly gay, told TheWrap he welcomed the role because it mirrored his life.
“There were a lot of things that I could relate to with Randy,” he said. “Coming out to my family and religious issues that I dealt with when I was a child… I thought I was over it. I thought I wasn’t still holding on to memories or feelings of how I felt. But doing the film, it was like therapy getting over it.”
“He’s just refreshing and he takes your breath away because he’s so brave and he didn’t know to be afraid… I used the same words for Gabourey Sidibe and I have the same feeling about ‘Precious’ and
“The 100” actor Isaiah Washington co-stars along with Terrell Tilford and Kevin Allesee. Washington, Polk, Keith Brown and Carol Ann Shine produced the film.
“We just felt like it’s time to let people know it’s okay to live in your truth with no apologies.”
“Blackbird” arrives in theaters on April 24 and will later be shown on Robert L. Johnson’s Urban Movie Channel