"This is so ugly, man, I don't know what to do," she says of her dowdy character in Precious

By Hilary Shenfeld
September 18, 2009 01:00 PM
Ramey; Lionsgate

There’s nothing diva-like about Mariah Carey in the new movie Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire.

Playing a case worker in a welfare office, Carey’s makeup consists of dark circles under her eyes and a slight mustache, all lit by glaring overhead fluorescent tubes.

WATCH: Mariah’s Transformation from Glam to Dowdy
“This is so ugly, man, I don’t know what to do,” Carey said Friday on The Oprah Winfrey Show, which was broadcast live from Central Park in New York City. Her look for the movie, which is based on the novel Push by Sapphire, was so unflattering, she said, that she tried to sneak on some blush but was caught by director Lee Daniels.

Despite her decidedly plain look, though, Carey said she was grateful for the role in the film, which opens in some cities around the country on Nov. 6. “I’ve been in love with the book,” she told Winfrey (one of the films executive producers, along with Tyler Perry) of why she wanted to be in the movie.

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Joining Carey during the interview was her husband Nick Cannon, host of America’s Got Talent, which he described as “the best summer job I’ve ever had in my life.” The couple met at the Teen Choice Awards in 2005, a dream come true for Cannon who said Carey had always been his celebrity crush. “I’m like, ‘Give me a chance,’ ” he said he told Carey.

The pair started dating in 2008, and Cannon proposed a few months later on the rooftop of her apartment, which he had decked out in pink-lavender balloons. He started eating a Ring Pop and then handed her one. She thought it was broken but he encouraged her to open it anyway. Inside was a 17-carat pink diamond engagement right. They were married in April 2008.

“I wake up,” Cannon told Oprah, “feeling like the luckiest, most blessed man.”