Jennifer Hudson Talks Portraying Aretha Franklin in Upcoming Biopic

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Singer Jennifer Hudson sits down with Essence to talk about the impact of her upcoming role as Aretha Franklin in Franklin’s biopic, Respect, as well as the level of confidence behind her signature short haircut.

“I do not take it lightly,” the singer tells Essence. “Receiving a blessing from people like Whitney, Aretha, Mariah, and son many other greats, it’s some strong shoulders to stand on.”

“I just want to represent all the people that I’ve always looked up to in the best way I possibly can,” the singer adds. “And use my gift to make a difference in the right way. So often, people use their instruments and gifts as weapons, and that’s not what it’s for. So I try to use mine to uplift, to help, and to bless. That’s what’s important to me.

Franklin was known for her iconic beauty and fashion style. From her fluttery long lashes to various hairstyles, Franklin owned her beauty. Often she used this ownership to heighten her show, from her signature slowly fur coat drop/reveal amid a performance to the time she pulled her wig off while performing at the BET awards. Franklin used unique fashion sense and style made her an emblem of beauty.

Similar to her idol, Hudson uses her hair to channel her confidence. For Hudson, her signature short hair cuts symbolize her unique confidence.

“You have to have confidence if you’re going to rock the short hair,” Hudson says. “That’s what I love about it. The look says ‘Here I am.’ If you can walk around with that confidence, with your hair being so bare. I think it’s a special type of power within that.”

This power sense of confidence, for Hudson transend physical apperance and it the defition of true beauty.

“I think it’s beautiful when you can be planted in everything you are,” She says. “Confidence is mot beautiful. If you can stand in that, whatever it is, without focusing on a single physical thing, that’s incredible.”

Watch the trailer for Respect below, and see Hudson channel the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin.