Academy Award winner Mo’Nique talks acceptance and child abduction in latest project with husband Sidney Hicks
If you think Mo’Nique is sitting around waiting for a call from Hollywood to star in her next big hit, you’re absolutely wrong! The Academy Award winner is changing the game and playing by her own rules. Mo’ Nique is elevating roles for women and minorities in Hollywood through her production company Hicks Media, and creating conversations that need to be heard.
Co-owned by her husband, Sidney Hicks, Hicks Media is striving to tell the stories that aren’t ordinarily pushed in Hollywood. Mo’Nique and Sidney Hicks have executive produced the much buzzed about Patrik-Ian Polk indie film, “Blackbird”, starring Mo’Nique, Isaiah Washington, Kevin Allesee, Gary L. Gray, Nikki Jane, Torrey Laamar, Terrell Tilford, D. Woods and introducing Julian Walker.
RLJ Entertainment and Urban Movie Channel recently hosted a private screening of “Blackbird”. Managed by 135st Agency, the screening included a Q&A with Mo’Nique and the cast. As executive producers, the Hicks explained that it’s their goal to equalize the playing field in Hollywood so everyone can be heard.
We want to tell stories that people can truthfully connect to and create opportunities for everyone. We want to be able to impact other people’s lives with our work. With “Blackbird” we hope that people will become more open to talk about things that they are afraid of.”
In the coming of age film, Randy (Julian Walker) is taking care of his emotionally disturbed mother, Claire (Mo’Nique) who’s distraught but resilient about finding her abducted daughter. Randy struggles with religion, sexuality and love as the Shakespearean-styled film creates conversations about identity, family, acceptance and child abduction. Since his father left, Randy takes care of his emotionally disturbed mother, and he’s the kind of friend all of his classmates can depend on. As strong as he seems on the outside, Randy is hiding a secret inner struggle and denial of his true self. It’s not until he opens himself up to love that he discovers that becoming a man means accepting who you really are.
“Blackbird is a cross-cultural film about acceptance and love. It’s reaching different people in different ways. Almost anyone can identify with any of the characters or the situations they are facing. As a mother, telling Claire’s story is important to me. Getting people to understand the importance of accepting their children as they are and also sharing the pain Claire was experiencing as a woman with a missing child was critical.”
Mo’Nique gives a moving and compelling performance as God-fearing Claire who refuses to give up the fight to find her missing daughter. Goldia Coldon knows how it feels to be a mother like Claire. Coldon’s daughter, Phoenix Coldon- a college student-was abducted four years in St. Louis, MO.
“I think what Mo’Nique is doing is commendable. Our stories have to be heard. We need more media and awareness to get people to pay attention to our fight. My daughter is out there somewhere and I hope and pray that Phoenix is found. I hope people are inspired to hang on to hope because I know that my daughter is also alive somewhere.”
Mo’Nique says that she hopes Claire’s story open people’s eyes to the missing children who need to be found and brought home. Blackbird opens up in selected theatres on April 24th.
Abesi Manyando- (@abesipr)