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Jennifer Hudson explains why playing Aretha Franklin is “the scariest thing” she’s done as an actress


Jennifer Hudson is still feeling the emotional effects of playing the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, in the new biographical drama Respect.

Hudson tells ABC Audio that even though the film has long since wrapped, she still feels the gravity of getting to portray one of the most renowned vocalists of our time.

“It’s like, ‘Oh, my God. It’s super exciting. I can’t believe this — the biggest honor, dream.’ It’s what I wanted to do and everything,” the singer shares. “But then at the same time, it’s the scariest thing. And it still is. It’s like, ‘Oh, my God, what did I do?"”

Thankfully for Hudson, who was personally picked by Franklin to portray her, she had the perfect cheerleader to motivate her along the way.

“[I]t was [Aretha’s] encouragement that got me through it,” Hudson reveals. “Like, who gon’ wake up and say they’re going to be the Queen of Soul — or even try? Nobody. Not even me…even with her singing. But, it was her encouragement to say, ‘You can do this,’ that made me say, ‘Okay, if she said I can do this, then I’m gonna give it a try. And I’m gonna do my best.’ And that’s how I was able to get through it.

“And my faith as well,” Jennifer adds.

Respect, also starring Forest Whitaker and Marlon Wayans, is in theaters now.

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