Mariah Carey on Her Precious Make-Under: "I Felt Completely Rancid!"

11/02/2009 at 04:44 PM ET


Moviegoers may be taken aback by Mariah Carey’s decidedly glammed-down turn in the film Precious as a dowdy social worker, and the singer herself had an even stronger reaction the first time she looked in the mirror. “I felt completely rancid!” Carey told PEOPLE at the film’s premiere at the AFI Audi Film Festival. But because the novel that the movie is based on “changed my life,” she gave herself over to director Lee Daniels’ vision for the character’s un-made-up look. “He said ‘We have a part and we really need someone, and I know you can do it,’” the singer explained. ‘”But you’re going to need to let me make you under and over and over again, and that’s what we’re gonna do.’ So I’m a big fan of Sapphire and the book Push which inspired this movie, and a huge fan of Lee Daniels so I let him do what he wanted to do.” Although it took time to adjust to the lack of grooming, Carey said the look helped her achieve a performance that’s now garnering glowing reviews. “I didn’t have to feel compelled to be always glamorous. With the music industry, it’s very like ‘Oh, she’s got a hair out of place! Go fix it!’ You know what I mean? And so this was such a liberating experience and yet humiliated me. But I needed that. We all need that. We all need to understand how to be humble, and it’s a difficult business to do that in.” And now that she’s back to her usual high-glam self, Carey’s moved past the trauma of the first glimpse in the mirror. “I’ve gotten over it,” she laughed, before turning to her husband Nick Cannon for some reassurance. “Have I gotten over it? “A little bit,” he grinned, telling reporters he had no problem with his wife’s makeunder. “I love her in every look — always!” –Scott Huver

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Vichina Austin on

I am really looking forward to seeing this film. I love Mariah because she’s a Diva like me.I don’t seem like much of a diva though, just a perfectionist. I also love Mariah because of her musical genius… She may not be smart academically(one thing we don’t have in common), but this extraordinary human is genius when it comes to music(one thing we do have in common). I am loving the remake on her new album.”I Want To Know What Love Is” was my moms favorite song back in the day.People please don’t take what she said offensively, you have to think about her life before fame. There’s a possibility that the character she was playing brang back memories from her past that made her feel uncomfortable. What she said is true…we do need to be more humble.I would like to say that we all as people need to learn to look at things from other peoples point of view. Although people like Mariah are celebrities, they are indeed regular people. Majority of celebrities have all these luxurious things but what I’ve heard is that the better you do with your career the more your personal life falls apart. On the inside I weep for celebrities who will never know the meanong of true happiness. As Mariah is one of my favorite artists, I hope that she is one of the few who can maintain a progressive career and also find stability in life.

Kathy on

All I can say is, looking at the pic of Mariah, it just goes to show what having a stylist, hairdresser and the right make up can do to for a woman’s looks. To bad all us normal working gals couldn’t have the same perks, we would all look glamorous

LBW on

I think she looks kind of cute actually. She has a natural cuteness. I don’t think that spilling out of a tube dress is glamorous. I’ve never thought of her as beautiful or as an actress. It was always her voice that was beautiful.

Lynithia on

ctoinoc is SO right! Excuse the rest of the world of women for being “rancid”ly normal but at least we’re loving human beings instead of a little girl play-acting in her own little world of make believe. Try REAL life for a change Mariah, you might just find the challenge and rewards will surprise you!

Diane on

So we (ordinary people) are rancid in the “Glamorous Mariah” eyes……I have NEVER liked her and now I know why….what a snob!!!!

Sarah on

Good grief. Let’s hope, Mariah, that your acting in this movie is a lot better than your snobby attitude. Excuse us “rancid” real people for crawling out from under our rocks looking like that. Sometimes working for a living and trying to make money for food, a place to live, etc. is a lot more important than what’s on the outside. Yeesh.

Dana on

So glad you were able to “humble” yourself to play an everyday person…what a snob and you made yourself out to be a total ass, they should’ve picked a REAL actress to play the part since you felt so rancid. God, you weren’t always wealthy, you definitely forget where you came from.

Stephanie on

I can’t believe that looking like an ordinary middle age working class female can make you feel rancid… maybe if you worked 16 hr shifts a day to put food on your table for your children and didnt have the time or the money to spend in upscale spas a majority of the time, you would have a better appreciation for the real world. you would think that someone of your age and stature would be more sympathetic to the real world. you need to check yourself, i used to be a fan but now i’m reconsidering that decision.

Lena on

Lighten up. I was the least bit offended by Mariah’s statements, and I am a former CPS caseworker. Let me tell you, none of my co-workers looked like her. It was a professional job, and you had to look professional.

sara on

I really don’t expect her to be smart and saying smart stuff, just let the girl talk. She can sing and we love her for it.

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