Jennifer Hudson is riding high with the release of the first teaser for next year's "Respect" biopic, in which she stars as the late Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin, and she's celebrating with a gorgeous new As If magazine cover.
Shot by Tatijana Shoan in collaboration with artist Ashley Longshore, the layout is an orgy of color and whimsy and positivity suitable for the pop royalty that Hudson is.
Speaking out about having the opportunity to play Aretha, Hudson tells the magazine, "Wow, what can I say? I couldn't be more humbled, intimidated, and excited. It's a blessing, but scary at the same time. I go to sleep listening to Aretha, and I wake up listening to Aretha. I just want to do her justice and do the best job I possibly can."
Having seen the acclaimed Aretha doc "Amazing Grace," she goes on to say, "It's so massive. I feel overwhelmed. To take on the lifespan of the career and legacy of this iconic figure is a huge responsibility."
Even so, there is already 2021 Oscar buzz for Hudson, who was Aretha's choice to play her and who spent time with Hudson before her death in 2018.
"We spoke a lot," Hudson recalls to As If. "I feel like she gave me pieces into her life. When I would talk to Aretha, I felt I knew exactly what the was talking about. When people are that iconic, it's easy to forget they had a life and that they are more than just an entertainer. They are a person, they're a sister, they're a child, they're a wife, they're a friend. In our conversations, she was teaching me more about life than her life."
Check out Hudson in and on As If on newsstands Monday, January 13!