To play a woman ugly in every way, Mo'Nique made sure she looked the part. She wore no makeup and even grew hair under her arms. "When I'm not in front of a camera, that's how I normally look," she jokes.
Mo'Nique says her appearance in the film gave the role authenticity. "I wanted to play that part as deep as I could to let people see the realness in it and the honesty in it and the reality of it and not try to dress it up," she says. "It was very in your face, and that's exactly who Mary Jones was."
The performance was so honest it earned a compliment from screen legend Sidney Poitier. "After seeing the screening, he said, 'There was not one insecure moment in your performance,'" she says. "I'm so thankful for that because we didn't want [there] to be any insecure moments. We didn't want anyone to look at that and say, 'Wow, they're nervous about doing that part.'"