ARTICLE PATRIK SANDBERG
IN JANUARY, V TRAVELED TO PARK CITY, UTAH, TO SEE WHAT THE SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL FORETOLD FOR 2014. IF THE TALENTS FEATURED IN V89 ARE ANY INDICATION, THE FUTURE OF CINEMA IS SHINING BRIGHT
BUY V89 HERE
“I’m trapped in L.A.!” screams Gabourey Sidibe, calling from the 405 Freeway. “I was only supposed to be here for a couple of days, but I’m nominated for an NAACP Award, and it’s here this month, so I guess I’ll stay. And I think I’m gonna go to the Oscars, so I thought I may as well.”
It’s hard out here for an Academy Award–nominated in-demand character actress like Ms. Sidibe. It’s a miracle she found the time to shoot White Bird in a Blizzard, the new Gregg Araki film that debuted at this year’s Sundance, but luckily it happened before she started work as the beloved character Queenie, on FX’s American Horror Story: Coven.
“[My team] kept it a secret from me for a very long time,” she says of the TV gig. “I’m not great with that kind of exciting information. I’m like a teakettle holding it in and steam is coming out of my ears. So a week before my birthday they told me, and it was the best present.” Sidibe has earned an obsessive following with her performance as the cutting and confrontational young witch, whose power is that she can transfer her own pain onto others. “I think Queenie sort of speaks for the audience,” she says. “Everyone likes Emma [Roberts]’s character, because they like how awful she is, but it’s nice to be the one in the room saying, Girl, you’re awful.”
For her role in White Bird, alongside Shailene Woodley, Gabby got to be a little friendlier, albeit unapproachably goth. “Our characters are alternative,” she explains. “They’re smarter and a little more clever than everyone else in the town. There’s one scene where I’m wearing a tutu and these boots, stockings, and like ten or more necklaces, and maybe five or six bracelets, and then a choker. I remember thinking, it must have been really interesting being a teenager in the ’80s. You turn your nose up at everyone who’s trying too hard…but you’re wearing fifteen necklaces!” At the screening, Sidibe was thrilled when the film won audience raves. “It was nice to see how happy the film’s reaction made Gregg Araki,” she says. “He’s like a little kid. His movies are always so good, because he has such an interesting eye and ear. He pays really close attention to the whole teen angst thing, but not in the same way as, like, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. It’s a skewed version of it, and it’s a version I feel connected to. The music and the color, I’m like, I don’t know who hurt you, but I’m glad you’re working it out through film.”
Makeup and hair (Gabourey, Morgan, Shailene) Courtney Perkins using Chanel (Tracey Mattingly) Photo assistants Check Wu and John Beecroft Stylist assistants Verena Hafner, Whitney Meyer, Christopher Lee Retouching Gloss