Gabourey Sidibe claims working on a sex line was her "acting school".
The 33-year-old actress believes her stint engaging in saucy chat on the telephone was good preparation for her debut role as an abuse victim in 'Precious'.
She said: "I was a phone sex operator from the ages of 21 to 24. It is improv. I actually was doing that not knowing that it was preparing me for like, 'Precious'. Like, [it's] so stupid. That was my acting school. That was my Juilliard."
But Gabourey admits she was warned her old job could be viewed as a "scandal" when 'Precious' came out, though she's adamant she was never exploited and knew exactly what she was getting into.
She told 'Entertainment Tonight': "There was this whole thing. [But] I went looking for the job. It's not like I fell and tripped, like I was some naive little girl. I went looking for a phone sex job."
The 'Empire' actress thinks she was "basically a grandma" when she lost her virginity at the age of 20 and went through a "promiscuous phase".
She recalled: "I call it a 'hoe phase. I think everyone goes through a promiscuous phase... I was out dating."
At the moment, Gabourey is "dating the hell out" of her new memoir 'This is Just My Face, Try Not to Stare' and focusing on her health after undergoing weight loss surgery last year when she was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
She said of having the surgery: "I am happy! [I'm] not dead. And I am also like, really glad that the way I did it, I did not tell too many people.
"The thing about my body is that it is mine. The only opinion that mattered was mine. And that's just the way I kept it.
"I am working on myself. There is no end of the line here. I am constantly moving forward."
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