"When I finished watching that movie, I literally had to breathe," Winfrey told reporters at the Toronto Film Festival. "I didn't cry until the card came up with 'For Precious Girls Everywhere.' And that hit a nerve. And I recognized myself in that character. Most of all, I recognized that I have seen the Precious girls of the world and they have been invisible to me."
According to Perry's Web site, he and Winfrey are donating their profits from the film to charity.
Meanwhile, Perry and Winfrey, along with Daniels and the cast, hit the festival circuit, where they racked up several awards and spoke about the process of being transformed for this bleak and ultimately heartwarming drama.
Carey had to leave her pop diva persona at the door. "I brought in all my wigs for the character and (Daniels) was like, 'No, it's not happening,'" she told reporters at the Toronto film festival.
Makeup-less, her hair mousy brown and limp, with a faint mustache above her upper lip, Carey was nearly incognito as Ms. Weiss, a tough-love social worker. She even adopted a Long Island accent for the role.
Though she's in only a few scenes, Carey has one of the most intense moments, a meeting with Precious and her mother, in which she probes Mary about how she allowed the abuse to occur.
"My character is not really a likeable person, but she does bring this to the surface. I had to really stay strong as an actor and I had to thank Lee for giving me that chance and letting us really be free with that scene," Carey said in Toronto. "I feel like it was a great chance for me to exercise and me to work and I feel like we connected on such a level. We were crying between scenes. It was emotional for us."