Jennifer Hudson hated taking her son to the set of one of her films as he was so scared.
The singer-and-actress plays a heroin-addicted prostitute called Gloria in The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete and also appears in uplifting musical movie Black Nativity as Naima. Both characters are mothers and Jennifer drew on her relationship with her four-year-old son David when acting, although the experiences were very different.
“Being a parent in real life has definitely helped me with these roles,” she told British newspaper The Independent.
“Even though I don’t consider myself a bad mommy, it was difficult putting myself in Gloria’s headspace and imagining if that were the case. My son would be like ‘Mommy, why are you acting like that?’ It scared him.
“I don’t want to ever be like that toward my child whereas Naima feels much closer to myself as a parent who wants her child to have the best life.”
Jennifer found fame on talent show American Idol and went on to win an Oscar for her role in 2006 film Dreamgirls. As it was a musical she shied away from appearing in any others as she didn’t want people to compare her work.
Black Nativity is about a streetwise teen who goes to spend the holidays with other family members and Jennifer immediately knew she had to be involved.
“Once I read the script, I fell in love with all the different elements: the church element, the family element, the holiday element, and seeing all those different elements made me want to be a part of it because I feel like there’s not enough films for the family,” she explained.
Jennifer is proud of the release but still has to pinch herself when she watches herself on screen. The 32-year-old star also can’t believe people want to hear her sing as it’s something she’s been doing for so long.
“To me, what’s weird in this type of position is that I’ve been singing my whole life. What’s the difference now? The ‘industry’, to me, is like when I used to sing at high school, it’s just on a bigger level,” she explained. “So now when I go to church to sing I’m like ‘Wait a minute?! Who are all these folks coming here to hear me sing? I sing in church every Sunday. What’s the big deal?’ I’ve been doing this my whole life. I’m still the same girl.”
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