In an interview with everyone's favorite publication randomly found at my local laundromat, Parade Magazine, Gabourey Sidibe talks about how much fun it is to play Queenie (AKA THE BEST WITCH EVVVAAAA) on American Horror Story and why Minotaur sex is probably not all it's cracked up to be (Awww, boo; had such high hopes about that for my next vacation.)
On getting cast as the most awesome math whiz witch in history, Sidibe says she got a little excited.
My first reaction, as it always is, was to freak out! I worked very hard to keep myself from screaming my joy into Ryan Murphy's ear. I've fantasized about being a witch my entire life, and being a "Human Voodoo Doll" is just about the coolest power ever because it's totally useful. Plus, I knew I'd get to do a lot of fun special-effects makeup and stunts like stabbing myself. I was really excited to learn how makeup artists use makeup (and I think just general, everyday magic) to fool the audience into believing I'm hurting myself or someone else.
As for Queenie's attempted "seduction" of the Minotaur, at first Sidibe was all HAHAHA wait, whaaaaaaaaat?:
I wasn't sure that I was actually reading what I was reading. I kept saying, "Wait… What? What's happening? No, Queenie! No!" But I couldn't stop laughing. Then I couldn't stop feeling sad for both Queenie and the Minotaur. The sadness that brings them together is very powerful. I saw it as a very human moment for each character and it really moved me. I wanted to do that moment justice.
And Sidibe is also finding powerful moments to connect with the show's intense racial themes. She told Parade during the filming of the torture scenes at Madame LaLaurie's home, she visited the set and spent time studying the torture-chamber sets. (Oh, wow):
I stepped in and saw those actors in cages and tattered clothes and saw the special effects scars on their bodies. I lost my breath and started having a minor panic attack and, after only a few seconds, I had to leave. I didn't see actors playing on a set. I saw reality. I saw history. My history. My mother, my father, my entire family and everyone I know. I later threw up. I can't say that it resonates deeper with me because I'm black. It resonates deeply with me because I'm black and because I'm a human being who has love for my fellow human beings. But I can't say it's deeper than anyone else just because I'm black, only because I know that it also resonated deeply with Kathy Bates as a southern-born, white woman.
Oh in case you were wondering how many fucks she gives in general about not fitting in with the Hollywood glamazon norm, the answer is exactly ZERO:
I was born to stand out. I don't care whether or not people will find me attractive on screen. That's not why I became an actor. I know that more and more with each new role.
Here's to holding out hope that when all is said and done, the last witch standing this season on American Horror Story is Queenie. Also, how about a Queenie spinoff, Ryan Murphy? Queenie becomes a high school Calculus teacher, determined to take the school math team all the way to MathOlympics (is there such a thing?) in New York City. I can see it now...