Jennifer Hudson is feeling “a lot of pressure” about portraying Aretha Franklin on screen after being personally chosen by the late Queen of Soul for the project.
The “Dreamgirls” actress was given “strength and encouragement” about appearing in “Respect” after being personally chosen by the late Queen of Soul – who passed away in 2018 – but she admitted the recognition has also raised the stakes of expectation for the film, which will be released this summer after being delayed by more than six months due to the coronavirus pandemic.
She told “Entertainment Tonight”: “That’s a lot, a lot, a lot of pressure!
“Everyone is counting down and I’m like, ‘Please don’t tell me! I don’t want to know, that’s enough pressure.’
“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.”
Jennifer recently released “Here I Am (Singing My Way Home)”, an original song from the film’s soundtrack and she hoped she was able to do Aretha’s roots justice with the track.
She said: “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… I’m so happy to hear that [it sounds like Aretha] because that was my sentiments exactly.”
The 39-year-old singer-and-actress was in attendance for the BET Awards on Sunday and was proud to be involved with an event celebrating Black women.
She said: “I’m not going to perform but I’m going to be in the midst of the ladies and just here to celebrate each other and be here of our own accord.
“Women deserve those flowers because we do so much so I’m just happy to be one of them in the midst of all these beautiful ladies in our culture.”