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Producer talks about ‘Precious’

Siegel-Magness got on board because of Daniels

Origins: “Lee Daniels spent many years convincing Sapphire that he was the one to bring her book to film. The book affected him so deeply, he slept with it under his pillow.”

Funding: “My husband and I financed this film 100%, no pre-sales. We financed ‘Tennessee’ and believe in Lee Daniels so much, we handled ‘Precious.’ We understand the risk (of filmmaking) and knew that we couldn’t invest in just one movie by Lee.”

Domino effect: “Mo’Nique and Gabby were hired first; Mariah was one of the final people to be hired. Mo’Nique worked with Lee on ‘Shadowboxer’; he makes a point to seek those outside the Hollywood system … Lee had discussed the role of Mary (Mo’Nique’s role) with Gabby’s mother, who said, ‘I won’t play this part, but I have a daughter who might be interested in Precious.’ Gabby later heard about the casting and skipped school to audition.” … We worked with Mariah on ‘Tennessee.’ ”

Setting the record straight: “The best producers are malleable and change depending on the situation. … Biggest misconception about a producer is that people don’t understand the amount of work, nor the number of people, that go into a film production. A film never rests on one or two people.”

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