NEW YORK, Jennifer Hudson has ARRIVED!
The Grammy and Oscar Award winner has a lot going on these days: moving from her hometown of Chicago to New York, being scouted to play one of the most iconic vocalists of all time, and oh yeah, her BROADWAY DEBUT! J-Hud recently took some time out of her busy rehearsal schedule to chat it up with Time Out New York about her big move, playing Aretha Franklin, and preparing for her empowering role in The Color Purple. And believe it or not – she’s nervous!
Right now, stepping out and doing something like this and not knowing what’s to come, how it’s going to work…. To me, there is no more frightening world to walk into than Broadway, because it’s probably the industry I’ve always respected the most.
It’s hard to believe that a woman who has performed at the Super Bowl, lead the Whitney Houston Tribute at the Grammys, and faced off with Simon Cowell would have anything to be nervous about. However, Hudson admits that even she was surprised when she was offered the role of sassy sexpot Shug Avery in the new production.
If any of them, I probably would have seen myself playing Celie [the meek, guarded protagonist]. I think the most surprising role to see me in is Shug. She’s so glamorous, and I don’t think people see me like that. When they called me about playing the role, I was like, Weird. But then I realized, I do got some Shug in me… Celie has a vulnerable innocence about her, a box of emotion that people always tap into, and that’s a huge part of me, too, you know.
Following rave reviews in London, American fans of the original production are eager to experience director John Doyle’s stripped down revival of The Color Purple as it makes its way to the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre November 10.
John is a brilliant director and interpreter,” praised Hudson. “He has an incredible talent for shifting the focus to the emotion of the story. I think that is what’s most exciting about working with him.
There have also been rumors that the powerhouse may star in an upcoming Aretha biopic from “Straight Outta Compton” producer Scott Bernstein. She played coy about that one, but did discuss why the role would be important to her:
I feel like that would probably be the most challenging and the most motivational for me to play since Effie. I feel like that would be the next, most similar thing and challenging at the same time… I grew up listening to my older cousins, and they were obsessed with Aretha. They were heavily influenced by her, and I took it from them. But I love her now. I love all her music. I just love that era. Atlantic, Motown—I wish we made music like that today.