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Jennifer Hudson on starring in the Queen of Soul biopic: It’s always been my dream to play Aretha


Bruce Glikas/FilmMagicFor Dreamgirls star Jennifer Hudson, portraying The Queen of Soul in a biopic is her ultimate dream role.

During an appearance Wednesday on The Ellen Degeneres Show, the Oscar and Grammy Award winner admitted that she was incredibly honored that Aretha Franklin chose her to star in the planned film.

“Aretha said she wanted Jennifer Hudson to play her, and its always been my dream to play Aretha, and its actually happening,” Hudson said. “It blows my mind. I’ve always looked up to Aretha, and to portray her, I can’t even speak about it, because that’s a huge task.”

Hudson, who returned this week as a judge on season 15 of The Voice, knows that starring as the 18-time Grammy Award winner is a huge responsibility.

“It’s not just two, three decades of a career,” she commented. “This woman had a lifetime.”

Jennifer added, “I can’t even begin to imagine how long it’s going to take to cover,” which elicited a response from Ellen that had the crowd laughing.

“Well, it’s going to take 70 years. You’re going to be shooting for 70 years,” the host joked. “That’s a long time.”

Hudson, who sang “Amazing Grace” at Aretha’s funeral, then replied that she will work as long as it takes, even if the film requires 70 years. “I’ll do it,” she said. “I’ll do it.” 

The Aretha Franklin biopic is still being planned, and a start date for the production has yet to be set.

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