Jennifer Hudson Says It's Always Been Her Dream to Play Aretha Franklin

The American Idol alumna will play the late Queen of Soul in an upcoming biopic.

By Elyse Dupre Sep 26, 2018 12:56 PMTags
Jennifer HudsonMichael Rozman/Warner Bros.

Jennifer Hudson is about to star in the role of a lifetime. 

The singer appeared on Wednesday's episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show and opened up about playing Aretha Franklin in an upcoming biopic. 

Clive Davis  confirmed Hudson had landed the role at the beginning of the year. 

"It's always been my dream to play Aretha, and it's actually happening," the American Idol alumna told Ellen DeGeneres, noting that the film was already in early production.

In fact, she said Franklin had actually requested her for the role.

"It blows my mind," Hudson continued. "I've always looked up to Aretha and to portray her—I cannot even speak about it because it's like, 'Oh, that's a huge task.'"

Still, she knows condensing the career of the 18-time Grammy winner into a few short hours won't be easy. 

"Think about it: It's not just two, three decades of a career," Hudson said. "This woman had a lifetime of a career. That's like 70 years. I cannot even begin to imagine how long it's going to take to cover."

"Well, 70 years," DeGeneres joked, adding that fans may never see the film.

However, Hudson seemed up for the challenge. 

"I'll do it!" she said.

Jennifer Hudson Confirmed to Star in Aretha Franklin Biopic

Franklin passed away on Aug. 16 at the age of 76. The Queen of Soul died of advance pancreatic cancer of the neuroendocrine type. 

Hudson was one of several celebrities to perform at Franklin's funeral. The Dreamgirls actress sang "Amazing Grace" and received a standing ovation. 

The "Spotlight" singer is certainly busy these days. In addition to starring in the Franklin film, she's set to appear in a movie version of the musical Cats along with Taylor Swift and James Corden. Hudson will play Grizabella, who sings the classic hit "Memory." 

If this wasn't enough, Hudson is also a judge on this season of The Voice. 

Watch the video to see her interview.

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