Mariah Carey Cried During Her Emotional Scene With Mo’Nique in ‘Precious’

Mariah Carey‘s role in Lee Daniels’ 2009 movie Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire was small but significant. As the social worker Ms. Weiss, Carey provided a foil to the characters portrayed by Gabourey Sidibe and Mo’Nique, both of whom delivered standout performances.

Mo’Nique attends the premiere of Universal’s “Almost Christmas” at Regency Village Theatre on November 3, 2016 in Westwood, California | Tommaso Boddi/WireImage

Mo’Nique won an Academy Award for ‘Precious’

In Precious, Mo’Nique played Mary Lee Johnston, the abusive mother of Claireece “Precious” Jones, played by Sidibe. Her feelings of anger and jealousy directed at her daughter stem from her two pregnancies as a product of rape by her father.

Mo’Nique famously won the Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her part and thanked Hattie McDaniel — the first Black woman to win an Oscar — for opening the door that she had just walked through.

Mo'Nique, Lee Daniels, and Mariah Carey
Mo’Nique, Lee Daniels, and Mariah Carey attend the “Push: Based On The Novel By Sapphire” Luncheon at Coca-Cola’s Taste of Film Festival at Stein Eriksen Lodge on January 16, 2009 in Park City, Utah | John Shearer/WireImage

Mariah Carey acted opposite Mo’Nique in ‘Precious’

Mariah Carey, meanwhile, had to share the screen with Mo’Nique while she was completely in character. She joined the movie at the last minute, and was thrilled to be appearing in a film adaptation of a book that moved her. “I was over the moon, but a little freaked out too,” Carey admitted in her 2020 memoir The Meaning of Mariah Carey. “I had a little more than one day to prepare. I learned my lines and did some deep, quick-and-dirty improvisation and backstory building.”

The experience was a dream for Carey. “The entire process of filming was renegade and brilliant,” she concluded. “I loved working on the film. My management at the time discouraged me from doing it, because it was last minute and low budget, but I knew it was a rare and exquisitely human story.”

Mariah Carey smiling in front of a pink background
Mariah Carey | Amy Sussman/Getty Images

RELATED: Will Smith and Mariah Carey Were Friends Before They Were Famous

Mariah Carey shed a tear during 1 emotional scene with Mo’Nique

As Precious’ social worker, Ms. Weiss helped her through some of her most difficult struggles. At one point, Ms. Weiss confronts Mary Lee herself in her office cubicle. What follows is Mo’Nique’s gripping monologue about love and loss that proved why her Oscar win was deserved.

Mo’Nique’s acting had an impact on everyone on set, including Carey.

“I was confident in my grasp of the Ms. Weiss character,” Carey recalled. “The most challenging work was not to be emotionally moved by Mo’Nique’s amazing and powerful performance. Ms. Weiss had to be detached, but the human being in me struggled with that.”

The Grammy-winning singer even admitted that she was moved to tears while they were filming a take. “There was a moment when Mo’Nique’s sublime acting got into my heart, and an involuntary tear welled up in my eye,” she remembered. “I discreetly wiped it away, hoping it wasn’t caught on camera.”