Jennifer Hudson Shares 15-Year-Long Journey for ‘Respect’ Biopic in New Interview
As the Aretha Franklin biopic "Respect" continues to pick up steam and praise worldwide, Jennifer Hudson admitted waiting for the dream role for fifteen long years.
In an interview with Big Tigger from Audacy and the rest of The Big Tigger Morning Show on V-103 in Atlanta, Hudson shared the long journey toward realizing the life of the "Queen of Soul," Aretha Franklin. Also, JHud and Big Tigger talked about other aspects of her life and career, including her stint on American Idol, her role on Sex and the City, and a potential VERZUZ faceoff.
It's now a universally-known tale that Jennifer Hudson got the most prominent "Respect" when the Queen of Soul handpicked her for the lead role. A biopic retelling the life of the "I Say A Little Prayer" singer has long been in the works, with Franklin herself keeping an active hand in its development until her death on August 16, 2018. It was during a pre-Grammy party when record producer Clive Davis introduced Hudson and Franklin to each other, with the younger vocalist later honoring Aretha with her renditions of "Think," "Rock Steady," and "Respect."
"The time has finally come. I'm excited for the world to see it. I've waited for this for 15 years," JHud started, adding that the entire experience is still "a lot."
She continues: "It's already amazing when you get to meet somebody you idolize, that you look up to, right? That's enough. Then add that on top of it, her saying like 'I want you to play me.' Not to mention, it was my dream to play her." On top of the excitement, however, Hudson adds that it makes her nervous, especially since she got to know Aretha Franklin.
Because of so much legend and grandeur surrounding "The" Aretha Franklin, Jennifer Hudson explains her goal of bringing the human side behind the Queen of Soul to the audience. She shares in her Audacy interview that the world knows her as "the icon, the legend" and that while we will continue to celebrate her impeccable legacy, she notes that there was also a human behind it, who had a life, and also had to go through things.
She says that the takeaway throughout the "Respect" project is in "finding your own voice because as soon as Ms. Franklin found her own voice and owned it, that's when we got our Queen of Soul."
Now that she has given justice to an Aretha Franklin biopic, Big Tigger asked her what if it's her turn to share her story on the silver screen. Interestingly enough, Jennifer Hudson has also prepared a shortlist of actresses to portray her, starting with Skye Dakota Turner, who played young Aretha Franklin, as young JHud. Also, she nominates Coco Jones and Megan Thee Stallion.
As for the choice to have Thee Stallion, Jennifer Hudson shares, "when we met each other at the BET Awards, she said, 'I know we're supposed to be like sisters or something.' Sometimes, people think I'm her apparently."
Listen to her full interview below: