Cynthia Erivo Has Nothing But "Respect" for Jennifer Hudson's Portrayal of Aretha Franklin

By Alyssa Ray Mar 16, 2021 7:52 PMTags

You can never have too much Aretha Franklin.

On Tuesday, March 16's all-new E! News' Daily Pop, Cynthia Erivo caught up with E!'s Justin Sylvester and discussed her role in the third installment of Genius. As E! News readers well know, the new season, titled Genius: Aretha, follows the incredible career and life of the Queen of Soul.

"I felt like I had a responsibility to try and tell the story as fully and as truthfully and as honestly as it possibly could," Cynthia started off. "So, daunting, yes. But also, really exciting."

While the small-screen treatment of Aretha's life will be premiering on Nat Geo this weekend, the Jennifer Hudson-led biopic is also coming later this year. Yet, as the Harriet actress noted on Daily Pop, both Aretha-centric projects deserve your "Respect."

"I'm greedy. So, any Aretha I can get, I'm getting," she shared. "I want to hear Aretha coming out of Jennifer's mouth. Those two have a really special relationship."

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As she continued, the 34-year-old actress and singer said she was "so excited" that there are multiple projects celebrating Aretha. She expressed, "It's something that we as Black women barely get so, to have her celebrated like this is so cool."

National Geographic/Richard DuCree

Cynthia and Jennifer previously worked together in the 2015 Broadway revival of The Color Purple. In fact, this production marked Jennifer's Broadway debut and earned Cynthia the Best Actress in a Musical award at the 70th Tony Awards.

Fun fact: Justin was present for Cynthia and Jennifer's "Purple Rain" tribute to Prince following his death in 2016. As the Daily Pop co-host recalled, the two stars led their Color Purple castmates in a musical tribute following their curtain call.

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"I was depressed because Prince had died," Justin shared with Cynthia. "I'm sitting in the audience, saw the play, sobbing crying and then, all of a sudden, you and Jennifer Hudson came through and served everybody the gospel of Prince."

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For Cynthia's full Daily Pop appearance, including what she'd say to the late Aretha after portraying her, check out the video above.

Genius: Aretha premieres Sunday, March 21 at 9 p.m. only on Nat Geo.