Monday, May 26, 2008

Jennifer Hudson: The Sex and the City Interview

with Kam Williams

Headline: Jennifer in the City

Jennifer Kate Hudson was born in Chicago on September 12, 1981 to Darnell Hudson and Samuel Simpson. At the age of seven, she started singing in her Baptist church’s gospel choir where she honed her vocal skills with the help of her late maternal grandmother, Julia. After graduating from Dunbar Vocational Career Academy in 1999, the 5’9” beauty began in show business in community theater and then on a Disney cruise liner before unveiling her four-octave range in front of a national TV audience on American Idol during the show’s third season.
Though Jennifer only finished seventh, many still consider her to be the most talented person ever to enter the competition. So, it was no surprise when she brought down the house delivering a spirited rendition of “And I Am Telling You I Am Not Going” as Effie White in the screen adaptation of the Broadway musical Dreamgirls. Based on the strength of that Oscar-winning performance, she was signed to play Carrie’s (Sarah Jessica Parker) assistant, Louise, in Sex and the City, a character writer/director Michael Patrick King created with Jennifer specifically in mind.
On the musical front, her yet to be titled debut CD is set to be released by Arista Records in the Fall, although her first single, “Spotlight,” was leaked on May 16th, and can be found online. (Visit: ) As for her love life, Jennifer is back with her high school sweetheart, James Peyton, though the couple is in no rush to tie the knot just yet.

KW: Hey, Jennifer, thanks for the time.
JH: How are you doing?
KW: Fine, thanks. Have things calmed down for you since winning an Academy Award?
JH: I have had a break. That was crazy with the whole Dreamgirls thing and the Oscars and all that. I was glad to get to come down a bit because it was like riding a roller coaster.
KW: How do you feel about following up Dreamgirls with Sex in the City?
JH: I love it! Dreamgirls and Sex and the City… that’s hot! I like the idea.
KW: Would you have preferred doing another musical?
JH: No, I’ve been looking for a role in which I didn’t have to sing. I don’t want every role to involve singing. I don’t mind singing in a film, but I want to act, too.
KW: Do you have any songs on the soundtrack?
JH: Yes, “All Dressed in Love.” Cee-Lo [Green of Gnarls Barkley] wrote it, and then I got to sing it. And I think it’s the perfect song, because they took fashion and love and tied them together and made a Sex and the City song.
KW: Were you a fan of Sex in the City when it was on HBO?
JH: I had never watched the show, but once I read the script and then started watching the DVDs for the audition, that’s when I fell in love with it.
KW: Was it hard fitting into an established cast as a newcomer?
JH: I was a little nervous during my audition, of course. After that, everybody made me feel very welcome and right at home. It was like one, huge happy family. I felt like the baby of the family.
KW: Did you ever have a job as a personal assistant in real life, like your character Louise?
JH: [Laughs] Oh no. I think it was fun playing a personal assistant, but I can’t work no computer and I’m not that organized at all.
KW: Did you find the role challenging?
JH: It was quite hard, although I switched roles with my assistant, answering the phone etcetera, so I could get the feel of being an assistant. I would assist him, which I don’t think I did too good of a job of.
KW: Did working on this movie give you a better appreciation of fashion?
JH: Definitely! I’m more into fashion now, because their level of it is exciting and more interesting, and made me want to experiment with my style.
KW: Which of the film’s four lead characters could you relate to the most?
JH: I’d say Charlotte [played by Kristin Davis], because she’s the wholesome, traditional girl, and that’s more like me.
KW: There’s been a lot of secrecy surrounding the picture’s plot. Did friends pester you to find out what’s going to happen?
JH: Everyone did. I had to duck and dodge everybody. So, I would just tell them, “If you’re a fan of the series, you’ll be a fan of the movie, because it’s true to the series. Wait on it. It’s coming.”
KW: Were you a guest at the wedding of your Dreamgirls co-star, Beyonce’, to Jay-Z?
JH: Is that true? Did she really get married? If so, I’m going to have to send her a gift. Beyonce’s an extremely private person, and I respect that.
KW: Do you have any plans to get married?
JH: No, I’m too young to get married.
KW: There seems to be a lot of it going around lately.
JH: And having babies, too. I’m going to wait on that.
KW: What happened to that guy, your childhood sweetheart, James?
JH: What happened to him? [Laughs] He’s at home. He has to work.
KW: What other movies are you working on?
JH: I just finished The Secret Life of Bees in the past two months. That’ll be out on October 17th. And Winged Creatures, which I’m not sure when it’s gong to be released. I don’t have any other roles lined up right now, but we’re working on that. Meanwhile, I’m trying to focus on finishing the album which comes out September 30th.
KW: Why has it taken you so long to release your debut CD? Is the process of making an album different from what you expected?
JH: I didn’t know what to expect. Everything is so new to me. Alicia Keys talked to me about it and told me not to worry because it took her at least a year to record her first album.
KW: Who did you like on American Idol this season?
JH: [Runner-up] David Archuleta was my favorite.
KW: when you were on the show, judge Simon Cowell once said to you, “I think you’re out of your depth in this competition.” Have you heard from him?
JH: I haven’t heard from Simon since he apologized to me on Oprah.
KW: Well, he had to eat his words in the end, so you definitely got the last laugh. Thanks again, Jennifer.
JH: Thank you.

Jennifer’s MySpace homepage:
To hear her new single, “Spotlight,” visit:

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