GABOUREY Sidibe is thrilled at being offered the chance to play her idol – Broadway and “Gimme a Break!” sensation Nell Carter.
Sources say the 31-year-old “Precious” actress – now a star on the critically acclaimed FX series, “American Horror Story” – is the perfect fit to play the Tony-winning star in the HBO biopic.
“As a woman of size, Gabby can completely transform herself into Nell who at one point tipped the scales at 300 pounds,” said an insider.
“Doing coke made Nell eat more, and she packed on the pounds before her friend Liza Minnelli finally got her to check into rehab in 1986. Nell said that after that she never touched drugs.
“She died all too young at 54 of heart disease and diabetes. It was terribly sad.”
Nell still has countless fans from her sitcom days when she played the housekeeper to a widowed chief of police.
And a pal of Gabby says she shares many of Nell’s positive traits.
“Nell was excellent at physical comedy and could deliver a quip with drop-dead hilarity – and she had a stunning voice. Gabby has some pretty good pipes of her own.”
The HBO biopic will detail Nell’s addiction to cocaine, her bisexuality, chronic health problems and two divorces
. The only production hurdle is that Gabby has become a red-hot ticket since “Precious,” so scheduling could be a problem, added the insider.