Mariah Carey

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Byline: Ramin Setoodeh

She was almost booed out of Hollywood after Glitter, but Mariah Carey can act. Really. Don't believe us? Check out the homely, tough-talking social worker in Precious. She spoke to Ramin Setoodeh.


All right, green tea. Hiiiii. How are you? It's early for me, darling, you have to understand.

What time is it?

It's late probably to you.

It's 1 in the afternoon!

I'm adjusting. I'm adjusting.

You've wanted to act for a long time, even before--

Yes. I've always wanted to. Not to cut you off, I'm sorry. I'm bad. When you have an opera singer for a mother, it's kind of like, sort of like, you cut people off. Cause she's grand, darling. She's very grand. So yes, I always have wanted to act. I didn't have the right support system, but maybe I needed that much of a fall to get where I needed to go.

And by "fall," do you mean Glitter?

Yes. That period of time was just a mess, with Virgin Records and la-la-la-la. It is a la-la-la-la now because they don't exist.

How do you learn how to act?

I've been studying for a long time. I was studying prior to Glitter. I'm not blaming anyone, but the script wasn't even done when we started that movie, and it was all over the place.

What was hard about Precious?

Aside from not using all my own mannerisms? I don't think anyone is going to care so much if an actress who exclusively acts does something with their hand that is reminiscent of two movies ago. …