More than a decade after winning an Academy Award for “Dreamgirls,” Jennifer Hudson is about to tackle another role of a lifetime.
The Oscar- and Grammy-winning star dropped by “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” Wednesday to discuss multiple new projects, including her portrayal of Aretha Franklin in a forthcoming biopic. Arista Records founder Clive Davis confirmed that Hudson had landed the role in January, noting that the singer-actress had been “anointed” by Franklin herself for the film.
“It’s always been my dream to play Aretha, and it’s actually happening,” Hudson told DeGeneres of the movie, which is currently in early production. “It blows my mind. I’ve always looked up to Aretha, and to portray her — I can’t even speak about it, because it’s like, ‘Oh, that’s a huge task.’”
The most daunting aspect of playing the Queen of Soul, who died in August, is that the film aims to dramatize a career that spans more than six decades.
“I can’t even begin to imagine how long it’s going to take to cover,” Hudson said.
Season 15 of the hit singing competition series boasts two “American Idol” veterans, Hudson and Kelly Clarkson, which has led to some lighthearted rivalry between the two stars when it comes to choosing contestants for their respective teams.
“By the time she’s done pitching, I want to be on her team, too,” Hudson quipped.
Later in the interview, Hudson tried the hits of other divas on for size when DeGeneres challenged her to a game of “Sing Out” and had Hudson attempt to croon sing lyrics while wearing a plastic mouthguard.
Get ready to hear songs by Cher and Tina Turner as you’ve never heard them before.