Jennifer Hudson stars as the late Aretha Franklin in Respect, an upcoming biopic about the Queen of Soul’s life. The two-time Grammy winner opened up to Entertainment Tonight about her initial reaction upon learning Ms. Franklin handpicked her to tell her life story.
“That’s a lot, a lot, a lot of pressure,” Hudson confessed. “Everyone is counting down and I’m like, ‘Please don’t tell me! I don’t want to know, that’s enough pressure.'”
The Dreamgirls star said she stopped panicking once she realized exactly what Aretha was asking her to do — and that Aretha had confidence in her.
Said Hudson, “Enough with her being like, ‘Jennifer do this.’ But that’s that women power, that’s that empowerment, like if she passed the torch and she said, ‘Jennifer you can do it,’ that gives me the strength and the encouragement to try.”
Hudson also spilled on what fans can expect in the upcoming biopic: “You should feel the church in it, the spirit, the soul.”
“I wanted to make sure that was the base and the premise of everything because Aretha was the gospel,” Hudson added. “I’m so happy to hear that [it sounds like Aretha] because that was my sentiments exactly.”
Respect, which follows Aretha’s life story from being a singer in her father’s choir in church to becoming a worldwide music legend, debuts in theaters August 13.
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