Meeting Aretha Franklin might have been daunting for anyone - and it especially was for Jennifer Hudson, as she revealed in a new interview with CBS Sunday Morning.
"The very first thing Aretha [said] to me when we sat down was: 'You're gonna win an Oscar for playing me, right?'" the singer recalled. Hudson will finally honor the Queen of Soul's wishes when the biopic Respect opens on Friday, Aug. 13.
The 10-minute segment features Hudson taking her first trip to FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, where Aretha cut the title track to her breakthrough album I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You. (Local musicians David Hood and Spooner Oldham - the latter a keyboardist on that song, "Respect" and others across her first five Atlantic albums - also appear in the segment, offering their recollections of the singer.)
Hudson also shares that she drew upon her own personal tragedies to get into the mindset of portraying Franklin. (Aretha's mother died of a heart attack before the singer turned 10; her father, the Rev. C.L. Franklin, was shot in an attempted robbery in 1979 and remained in a coma until his death in 1984. Hudson's mother, brother and nephew were murdered in 2008 by an estranged brother-in-law.)
"It's my real emotion that's telling this story," she said. "There's no way I would've been able to tell this in such an honest, vulnerable way, to those depths, without my own life experiences."