When she’s not showing off her twerking skills with Jussie Smollett on Twitter or teaching Kathy Bates how to shake that thang on the IG, this Hollywood hot girl is starring in one of TV’s most watched shows. She is Gabourey Sidibe. The 32-year-old actress spices up our Wednesday night’s playing Lucious Lyon’s fashionably forward, faithful assistant, Becky Williams. We secretly think Becks could run Empire Entertainment, and told her so at Verizon’s Go90 sneak peek event in Beverly Hills recently.
“I think Becky is a pretty smart girl. She has been following Lucious and helping to run [Empire] by being his assistant, so she could. I don’t know that she will. But she probably could,” Sidibe said.
With only four episodes into the second season of Empire, Becky has already coined the phrase “Will he won’t” in response to Miss Lawrence’s “Won’t he will” on the season premiere. It’s a phrase that plays off the ever popular “Won’t he do it?,” a reference to Holy Spirit working things out in one’s favor. One might say that’s what’s been going on with Sidibe ever since she grabbed an Oscar nod for her groundbreaking role in Precious, directed by Empire creator Lee Daniels.
But back to Becky. Gabourey seems like a kid in a candy store when it comes to playing the vivacious, ambitious young woman. Her fashion sense speaks almost as loudly as her character, and we had to know how much input Gabourey gives when it comes to putting together those ’fits.
“Well, I definitely get to ‘yea or nay’ things, for certain. It’s actually kind of a collective sort of a thing,” reveals Gabby. “We have a really great costume designer, Apollo, who is amazing and has such a great eye for fashion and has a great eye for what we would be comfortable in. But I don’t know how much of a say I have. If I don’t love something, then they don’t make me wear it, for sure.”
Feel what you want about Becky’s fashion sense; Gabourey’s business sense is on point. She’s been able to carve out her own lane in Hollywood, seamlessly meandering between the worlds of film and television, snagging roles on hit shows like The Big C and seasons three and four of American Horror Story, as well as starring opposite stars like Eddie Murphy in 2011’s Tower Heist. Carving your own lane out in Hollywood comes with a tailor-made mouthpiece, and Gabby’s got that in spades. She’s always been one to speak her mind—case in point: her response asked what she thought of Viola Davis’s recent Emmy speech.
“I was very proud of her,” she says. “I was actually proud of everyone. I was proud of Regina King, I was proud of Taraji [Henson], I was proud of Uzo [Aduba]. I was proud of every Black person there. I mean, I know ‘White actors matter too’ hashtag, but mostly my Black ass matters, and so I was very proud for people that looked like me and that represent me.”
Outside of Empire, you can next catch Gabourey Sidibe opposite Penelope Cruz on the big screen in the upcoming comedy Grimsby come February 26, 2016.
Crystal Shaw King is a seasoned TV, radio and online entertainment writer. She’s also a contributing editor for a social justice foundation in Los Angeles. Follow her on Twitter @crystalamberbam.