Monday May 15, 2017

Being a sex phone operator helped Gabourey Sidibe prepare for Hollywood

Actress and author Gabourey Sidibe and Ali Hassan in the q studios in Toronto, Ont.

Actress and author Gabourey Sidibe and Ali Hassan in the q studios in Toronto, Ont. (Melody Lau/CBC)

Listen 22:51

Gabourey Sidibe says she's had acting jobs more demeaning than her old gig as a sex phone operator. And when you hear her explain why, it makes sense. 

Sidibe details her unique rise to fame in her latest memoir, This is Just My Face, Try Not To Stare, which includes her time as a sex phone operator before she landed her breakout role in 2010's critically-acclaimed Precious

In the book, Sidibe says Hollywood's focus on her face and body was, at times, much more demeaning than her previous job where she was simply a voice on one end of the phone, controlling conversations. In fact, she says it was a good learning experience that helped prime her for the acting world. "It taught me how to have a conversation and how to lead with my personality," she says.

— Produced by Ben Edwards