Aretha Franklin, also known as the “Queen of Soul”, is one of the greatest American artists of all time. Known for hits like “I Say a Little Prayer”, “Respect” and “Never Gonna Break my Faith”, more than 75 million of her records have been sold worldwide. Franklin has twice placed ninth in Rolling Stone’s “100 Greatest Artists of All Time”. Leaving an incredible legacy, finding the right actress to play Aretha Franklin in a musical biopic could have been a very difficult task.
But Liesl Tommy’s movie found the perfect actress to play Aretha Franklin Jennifer Hudson† Like Franklin, Hudson is also an incredible singer, showing off her vocal talents in the R&B and soul genres. Playing a real person in a biopic requires an enormous amount of acting talent that Hudson brought to her performance. But Hudson was chosen for reasons beyond her singing and acting abilities. Here’s Why Jennifer Hudson Was The Perfect Actress To Play Aretha Franklin respect†
Hudson is an Oscar-winning actress
Featured in many great movies, including: Confirmation† Mister & Pete .’s inevitable defeat, and The secret life of beesJennifer Hudson is a seasoned award-winning actress. She won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in her first film, Dream women (2006). This made Hudson the youngest black actor to win an Academy Award at age 25.
After Dream womenHudson built an impressive acting career, appearing in many films and television shows. This includes starring in Winnie Mandela (2011), Young Nana in To sing (2016), and Veronica Moore in the critically acclaimed crush. Hudson’s filmography features many musical dramas, so it’s no surprise that she sparked casting interest for the role of Aretha Franklin.
Became famous when she sang a song by Aretha Franklin
The year 2004 became one that would change Jennifer Hudson’s life. Jennifer Hudson was in her early twenties when she became a finalist on the third season of american idol† Her time on the show catapulted her into a life of instant fame, kicking off her music career in the public spotlight. It could be fate, or it could be fate, but the song Jennifer Hudson sang during her american idol audition was interestingly an Aretha Franklin song. Indeed, twenty-one-year-old Hudson sang Aretha Franklin’s “Share Your Love With Me”. All three judges were immediately impressed and immediately recognized Hudson’s talent.
Shared life experiences
From an early age, both Aretha Franklin and Jennifer Hudson were considered musical prodigies. Franklin has received more than 40 Grammy Award nominations and won 18 Grammy Awards during her career. She won many other awards and made history when she became the first woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Hudson, like Franklin, received many music awards in addition to acting. Hudson also has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Besides finding their gifts in music and performing, Aretha Franklin and Jennifer Hudson share many other life experiences. At the age of ten, Franklin experienced the tragic loss of her mother. In a Vanity Fair article, talent agent Ruth Bowen shared;
…to let your mother die of a heart attack as a young woman… And it just happened – no preparation, no warning. [Her father] told me afterwards that he was afraid Aretha would never recover, that she would not be able to speak for weeks. She crawled into a shell and didn’t come out until many years later… Without the music, I’m not sure Aretha would ever have found her way out of the shell.
Hudson also experienced a family tragedy when she lost her mother, brother and cousin in a shooting. Now that Hudson was in the public eye, she quickly gained a lot of media attention. To cope with the tragedy, Hudson withdrew from public appearances for a year before returning to perform at major events such as Super Bowl XLIII (2009). Endured a devastating loss while out in the open, Jennifer Hudson has an understanding of grief and trauma that many people don’t have.
Both Franklin and Hudson were born into a Baptist family and spoke openly about their faith. Franklin made her first recording in her pastor’s church. Throughout Franklin’s career, she called her singing voice a gift from God. In an article by Premier Christians, Hudson said her “Christian faith couldn’t be stronger.”
Personally selected by Aretha Franklin
Many biopics cast their lead roles without the input of the person the actor is portraying. That was not the case with respect† Before her passing, the Queen of Soul herself asked Jennifer Hudson to play her in the film. Hudson’s performance in the Broadway musical, The color purple, Franklin instilled even more confidence that casting Hudson was the right thing to do.
Franklin inspired millions of people around the world and continues to do so. But Franklin was impressed by something she saw in Hudson. Franklin was much more than just a singer, and although he was a musical legend, he was still a human being with a life beyond his career. Many knew Franklin only through her music, but Hudson had many life experiences that put her in a unique position to better understand her. Hudson revealed to BBC News that she never found out exactly why Franklin had chosen her;
You know what, that’s the only question I didn’t ask. She never specified, she just said, “Jennifer, I want you to play with me,” and I said, “Yes ma’am, I will!” But I think it went beyond singing and acting. I feel like she’s seen so much more that we’ve somehow experienced or similar.
Franklin seemed to have known that there weren’t many actresses who could sing and act, but they also drew on many of their own life experiences to accurately portray her. It seems Frankling saw a lot of himself in Hudson, and respect proved that Jennifer Hudson was the perfect actress to play her.
Some of the best films of the year focused on Black experiences and stories that had previously existed too long outside the mainstream.
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