Jennifer Hudson graces the cover of InStyle’s August issue. She named her dog Oscar and then won one. She manifested a mansion and then she bought one. Now, she’s stepping into Aretha Franklin’s shoes for the role of a lifetime.
- On meeting Aretha Franklin: “I remember when we first sat down, ooh, I was terrified to be at the table,” Hudson says, laughing, reminiscing about her initial conversations with Franklin. “Aretha said, ‘What? Are you shy or something?’ I said, ‘Well, I am talking to the Queen of Soul!'” Hudson would shortly find out that Franklin didn’t have a script finalized yet — that would come over a decade later — but what she received instead was 15 years of conversations, counsel, and advice from a woman she had idolized since her youth. “She said, ‘Jennifer, you’re going to do this,'” Hudson recalls. “I’m like, ‘Well, I’ll do it if she says I can do it, if she thinks I can.’ That’s Ms. Franklin!”
- On acting and relating to Aretha’s loss: “As an actor, you have to go to your own real places,” Hudson reflects. “I don’t think I would have been able to dig that deep or connect in a way had I not been through things myself.” “In that moment, it clicked with me like, ‘Is this what she saw in me?’ Because we parallel in so many ways through our life stories and the things we’ve been through and experienced. I know, as a person who has suffered a lot of loss, I don’t like having to talk to people who haven’t lost anything,”
- On Black Lives Matter Movement: “Going back in time like that and to fast-forward to now,” she muses. “Oh my god, it’s still the same today. This battle is an ongoing thing.” For Hudson, exploring that part of Franklin’s life, from her relationship with Martin Luther King Jr. “Too often we’re afraid to speak up because we’re afraid of retaliation,” Hudson points out. “To see someone like her use her platform to be a voice encourages me.”
Cover: Miu Miu Jacket (faux fur), Top, Dress, and Socks | Tiffany & Co. Necklace | Le Silla Heels
Image 1: Louis Vuitton Coat and Shirt | Chanel Earrings | Sophie Buhai Rings
Image 2: Chanel Bodysuit, Jumpsuit, Earrings, and Bracelet | Le Silla Heels
[Photo Credit: Chrisean Rose for InStyle Magazine]