WATCH ALL YOUR FAVORITE BET SHOWS

INTERVIEW: Jennifer Hudson Shares Details About Her Greatest Challenge Playing Aretha Franklin In ‘RESPECT’

The Oscar winning star spoke to BET.com about the one thing that nearly tripped her up in her portrayal of the Queen of Soul.

Put some respect on Jennifer Hudson’s name as she is set to debut her much anticipated portrayal of the Queen of Soul in the new Aretha Franklin biopic, RESPECT opening only in theaters on (Friday) August 13. 

The film follows the rise of Franklin’s career from the early days of singing in her father’s church to becoming a household name to establishing a legacy left for fans to enjoy for years to come. The star-studded cast includes Marlon Wayans, Audra MacDonald, Forest Whitaker, and Mary J. Blige with Liesel Tommy directing.  

When asked about the most challenging part in preparing for the role that Franklin specifically wanted her to portray (no pressure), Hudson shares that learning to play the piano was not a walk in the park for her. 

RELATED: ‘Respect’: Jennifer Hudson Honors The Late Aretha Franklin At Detroit Historical Museum

(Photos from left: Maarten de Boer/NBC/NBCUniversal via Getty Images, Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

(Photos from left: Maarten de Boer/NBC/NBCUniversal via Getty Images, Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

(Photos from left: Maarten de Boer/NBC/NBCUniversal via Getty Images, Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

“Honey, I am still doing it to this day and trying to figure it out even more. She had a gift and that is something that cannot be taught, she said. “As an actress, I had to learn that element of her and it has been the most unnatural thing to me out of all of this.”

Hudson also shared that if Franklin was alive today, she would likely only want to do a Verzuz battle against one incomparable superstar.  

RELATED: Jennifer Hudson On Starring As Aretha Franklin In Biopic ‘Respect’

“I thought about this idea and I would choose Diana Ross. Both of these women are massively huge and impacted music at the same time, so what in the world would that Verzuz be like?” 

Watch BET.com’s interview with Hudson below for more behind-the-scenes tidbits as fans across the country get ready for RESPECT out n in theatres on Friday, August 13th. 

Latest News

Subscribe for BET Updates

Provide your email address to receive our newsletter.

Select the types of notification you would like to receive from us. Please note, you must choose at least one.


By clicking subscribe, I consent to receiving newsletters and other marketing emails. Newsletters are subject to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Users can unsubscribe at any time.