Jennifer Hudson - Giving a Victim a Voice in "Confirmation"

April 11, 2016 - Jennifer Hudson 04/11/2016 Views: 553

Jennifer Hudson talks about taking on roles as powerful female characters in the Broadway musical "The Color Purple" and the HBO movie "Confirmation." (5:46)

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Please welcome Jennifer Hudson.

-♪ -(cheering, applause)

Ooh!

I am never not excitedto see you.

Oh!

I see you in so many placesand I'm never not excited.

Thank you so muchfor being on the show.

-Thank you for having me.-Thank you so much for being...

You are doing so much right now.Uh, I mean,

let's-let's justtalk about it. It's...

It must have beenemotional for you--

I mean, the Idol finale,the other day,

is sort of where it all started.

Yeah.

It's-it's kind of creepybecause, first of all,

I was 22 when I started on Idol. Now I'm 34.

So that was, like, 12 years ago.

You know, and to still be hereand to...

Like, I felt...when I started Idol, I was like,

"I'm gonna do thisfor the experience."

And because of that, I'm sittinghere talking to you today,

-you know what I mean? So...-So you've gone down,

-is what you're saying. (laughs)-Uh...

-No. You know, it started a lotof things. -No, but it's-it's...

Really,it's-it's an amazing journey

that you've gone through.You-You've done so much.

Beautiful voice, you know,an acting Oscar,

you know, a Grammy,

going for an EGOT, it seems...

(whimpers, chuckles)

And let me tell you,before we get to the movie,

I've seen youin The Color Purple.

If you... if you haven't seenit, it's a beautiful story.

-It really, really is abeautiful story. -Come see it.

-It's a great show.-(cheering and applause)

What was interesting to meis, innately, you wouldn't seem

-like a Shug Avery typeof person. -No.

At least I didn't think so. Youknow, Shug is very glamorous.

Like I say, she's the sex kittenof it all.

And so when they called meto play that role, I was like,

"Me as Shug?"I thought I would've been Sofia

or somebody but not Shug Avery.

But I think I foundmy inner Shug, I would say.

(cheering and applause)

What's-what's really fascinatingf-for me about the story

is the fact that...you-you know, it's very rare

that you watch a storylike The Color Purple,

where, uh, the womenare running the story.

-Yes.-It's... There is no savior.

There's no man who comes inwho saves it.

There is no white personwho comes in and saves it.

-It is a beautiful storyfrom beginning to end -Mm-hmm.

of a journeyof trial and tribulation.

Was that important for youin playing the story?

Definitely. It has to be.

In portraying a role like Shugand with other powerful women--

Celie becomes powerfuland Sofia--

I think that's what has inspiredall of us the most,

is seeing that poweramongst the women in it

-and to see us lift each otherup throughout the story -Yeah.

and finding things in eachof our characters that's like,

"No, that's me.That's something I would do."

You know, and to be ableto see that in a character,

keep it in the character,and to portray it in that way,

-if that makes any sense. Youknow? -It made complete se...

You know, what's funny isit-it... there were moments

in the story,it reminded me of my mom.

-See? Yeah. -It was... Like,it's... it's a powerful story

-about black women. It was...That's all it was. -Yeah.

Um, l-let's pivot a little bit.I mean, to see you playing

in that role, you wereonce working on Disney Cruises.

-I was. -Did you ever seeyourself going...

What was your favorite song,by the way, when you worked

-on the Disney Cruises?-(stammers)

(laughs)"Circle of Life."

-I have to go with"Circle of Life." -Oh, really?

"Circle of Life."Yeah, definitely.

That's, like, one ofmy favorite songs of all times,

to be honest. Yeah. Of all time.

Can you just...can you sing a-a tiny bit of it?

-Ooh, okay. -Just, like, a...-(cheering and applause)

-just, like, a...-Uh...

♪ From the daywe arrive on the planet ♪

♪ Blinking, step into the sun

♪ There is more to see

♪ Than can ever be found

♪ More to dothan can ever be done ♪

-(cheering and applause)-Y'all know the rest.

How do you not...Why do you bother talking?

Well, lately everyone makes mesing everything.

But why... but whydo you bother spea... I feel

like you've achieveda higher level of communication

-and you waste time with us meremortals speaking. -♪ Thank you

-♪ Thank you, Trevor -Thatshould be you the whole time,

-just, like...-♪ Thank you

-♪ Thank you, too -That's-that's all it should be!

That's... Wow! Ah.

Wow, okay, let's... Oh,let's talk about Confirmation.

-Again, a powerful story,a black woman. -Wow.

This seems like you-you'regoing... you're going for this.

Yes, it is very powerful women,of telling of that story.

And so to play Angela Wright,I felt, you know,

she had a bit of spicinessin her as well.

But just to be ableto be her voice,

because she never got to speak,she never got her say

or a chanceto tell her side of the story,

of her experienceswith Clarence Thomas,

and so that's who I portray,Angela Wright.

It's a... it's a powerful story.

I love the fact that you'renot just doing what you're doing

-but you're doing more togive back to others. -Thank you.

Just tell us a bitabout your foundation, please.

Well, my sister and I started

the Julian D. KingGift Foundation

in honor of my late nephew,Julian King.

And what we like to dois not only acknowledge

just-just positive but trying...children trying.

And where we come from,

-positivityis never acknowledged. -Yeah.

So we made a pointto acknowledge the positive

that children do.So we have the gift foundation,

which we give toys

to the unfortunate kidsduring Christmas.

And then we also have a dinnerfor them.

And then during school, we givethem their school supplies

and all their school needsso they don't have to worry

about where they're gonna gettheir school needs from

-when school rolls around.-That's beautiful.

-Thank you so much. Thank youfor giving back. -Thank you!

Thank you for giving to us.

You can currently see JenniferHudson in The Color Purple,

and Confirmation premieresApril 16 at 8:00 p.m. on HBO.

-Jennifer Hudson, everybody.-(cheering and applause)