[WATCH] Jennifer Hudson Flawlessly Transforms into Aretha Franklin in ‘Respect’ Trailer

by Jamila Lizet White

May 24, 2021

Photo by James Devaney/GC Images

The full trailer for Respect is finally here and it was worth the wait! Jennifer Hudson will portray the late Aretha Franklin in the upcoming biopic scheduled to be released on August 13.

While speaking to Good Morning America‘s Michael Strahan on being personally chosen by the Queen of Soul and the origins of the project, the 39-year-old singer and actress revealed that she and Franklin had their “first conversation” about the film nearly 15 years ago.

Photo by Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic

“It was right after I won my Oscar for Dreamgirls we had our first conversation. So you can only imagine how I feel now, like, ‘Whoa, it’s here? It’s done?'” said Hudson. “To see it actually manifest and for her to choose me is — I can’t even begin to put it into words. I do not take it lightly. It’s a dream come true. I don’t want to sound cheesy, but it is.”

Prior to Franklin’s passing in 2018 of pancreatic cancer at the age of 76, the Grammy-winning artist had weekly conversations about her life yet “she taught me more about life while in the midst of teaching me about her life.”

“When I got to portray her, that’s when I realized she was really speaking from experience,” she added. “And it wasn’t just anyone telling you anything, but to know those were words of wisdom coming from the Queen of Soul herself. And it helped me embody the story that much more.”

Although the Chicago native had her reservations about playing “a legend,” she told herself that “If [Franklin] said I could [play her], I guess I can. I better try.”

Watch the full trailer below and tell us: will you be tuning in?

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