Aretha Franklin said Jennifer Hudson would win an Oscar for playing her07/31/2021
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‘Respect’ first look: Jennifer Hudson as Aretha Franklin in biopic
Aretha Franklin may have passed away back in 2018, but her spirit lives on through Jennifer Hudson. The Oscar-winning actress sat down with “CBS Sunday Morning” to speak about her role as the legendary singer in her biopic, “Respect.”
Hudson, 39, discussed with interviewer Kelefa Sanneh her friendship with the Queen of Soul, the process of embodying the late music icon and how she believed that Hudson would win the Oscar for the role.
“The very first thing Aretha said to me when we sat down was, ‘You’re going to win an Oscar for playing me, right?’” Hudson said. “I didn’t know what to say.” The “American Idol” winner previously won the Oscar for her role as Effie in 2006’s musical, “Dreamgirls.”
She then added that Franklin was so impressed with her portrayal of Effie that she handpicked her to play her in a future biopic. Hudson and the “Respect” crooner stayed in touch eight years later and spoke weekly up until Franklin’s death.
Sanneh and Hudson were able to visit Muscle Shoals, Alabama, together, where they went to see Fame Recording Studios for the first time. The musically sacred ground is a place where many fans believe Franklin learned to use her incredible voice that led her to become a legend.
“You can feel, like, the magic I feel like that’s taken place,” Hudson explained about the studios. “Look, and Aretha over here. Okay, hold on. Oh my God. Okay.”
“Respect” deals with much of the joy and pain Franklin experienced in her long life. Hudson revealed she drew on her own tragedies to help tell Franklin’s story.
In 2008, the “Sex and the City: The Movie” actress’ mother, Darnell Donnerson, and her brother, Jason Hudson, were found shot to death inside their Chicago home. Her older sister Julia’s son Julian was reported missing after the crime and was found dead three days later. Julia’s estranged husband, William Balfour, was charged with the murders.
“There’s no way I would have been able to deliver this or tell this in such an honest, vulnerable way to those depths without my own life experience to channel it from,” Hudson continued.
On Friday, the film released a clip of Hudson as the soulful singer performing at Madison Square Garden.
“Respect” hits theaters on August 13 and also stars the talents of Forest Whitaker, Marlon Wayans, Audra McDonald and Mary J. Blige
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