Reality show host and funny lady Mo'Nique is truly one of the queens of comedy—and also an amazing dramatic actress. This fall, Mo'Nique will blow audiences away in the film Precious, based on the novel Push by Sapphire.
Though she says she was always proud of her body, Mo'Nique is looking slim and trim these days! "You know what I am doing? I'm dancing," she says. "You just dance and you sweat and you move muscles that you didn't know you had. And it just starts going away, baby."
Mo'Nique says she decided to start living healthier after a wake-up call from her husband, Sidney Hicks. "I was very comfortable at 262 pounds," she says. "I'm in the bathroom mirror one day admiring 262. And Sid says to me when he comes out of the shower, 'Mama, how much do you weigh?' I said, '262.' And he said, 'Mmm.'"
Mo'Nique says she knew something was coming next. "He said to me in the most gentle, loving way, 'I want you for a lifetime,'" she says. "Baby, I started working out right then."
Mo'Nique and her husband have 3-year-old twins, Jonathan and David, and Mo'Nique has an 18-year-old son, Shalon, from her first marriage. "Fifteen years' difference," she says. "That's when I realized God had a sense of humor."
At 41, Mo'Nique says parenting is different this time around. "When Shalon was born, I was so much younger," she says. "I was hustling. I was out there trying to make it happen. So I was quick to spank his behind. Like: 'Get down. Don't do that. Put that back.'"
In 2006, Mo'Nique married Sidney—and still can't get enough of him! "That man is so fine. You ever have a man so fine you might be at your desk at work and you just think about the night before and you've got to take a break?" she says. "That's how I feel every time I see him."
In addition to the fall launch of her perfume—called Mo'Nique—Mo'Nique is getting ready to take on late night. Her show premieres in fall 2009 on BET.
Mo'Nique says she's wanted to have a talk show since she first saw The Oprah Show, but she doesn't want to say that it will always be funny. "We're gonna let it move. We're gonna let it be what it's gonna be," she says. "It's late night, and my hope is when people turn it off, you feel good. When people turn it off, they feel joy. They want to hug. They want to make love. And if you don't got nobody to make love with, hey, do it with yourself."
Growing up, Mo'Nique says she was inspired by comedian Richard Pryor. "I met him at the Kings of Comedy premiere. and he took me by my hand and he said, 'Don't you ever change,'" she says. "And I'm, like: 'For real? Mr. Pryor?'"
Now, Mo'Nique says her family always makes her laugh. Mo'Nique says her husband even helps write some of her material. "No one has ever been able to do [that]," she says.