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May 2008

An Interview with Jennifer Hudson
By Wilson Morales

May 7, 2008

Have Alicia or anyone else asked you about ‘Sex and the City: The Movie’?

JH: Everybody has. I have not crossed anyone who isn’t excited about it; so it’s hard to dodge everybody who tries to find out what happens and what’s going on.

Do they ask you to tell secrets about the movie?

JH: There are no secrets. I just tell them that if you loved the series, you are going to love the film because it’s so true to the series. Wait on it.

Since you have been catching up on the series, do you have a favorite episode?

JH: You know, I’ve just stuffed myself with ‘Sex and the City’, that it’s hard at the moment to remember a particular episode because I would literally sit all day, wake up in the morning, and just watch, watch, watch over and over every day. I can’t remember one in particular but if you want to discuss one, I’m sure I’ll remember.

With the success of ‘Dreamgirls’, there’s talk of bringing it back to Broadway. Do you have any interest of doing Broadway?

JH: Well, I’ve done theater before where I had to sing a lot and that’s very time consuming. I’m enjoying traveling a little too much, so not right now, maybe later, maybe another five, six years.

Your character Louise moves to New York because of love, so was that feeling or optimism as contagious for you and the cast?

JH: I think it can be. I think the feeling and the vibe of ‘Sex and the City’ is more contagious because I thought that I was living and, I’m so serious, it’s sex and the city. Staying here and filming it. I’m in a nice place here in New York and I’m young and I love living...like every fashion girl I know, I thought I was in the film by being here. So, I thought that was more contagious.

Did you ever hang out with anyone from the cast socially?

JH: No. They were always, always, always working; like around the clock. I was prepping for mine and I was probably with the acting coach and watching ‘Sex and the City’. I don’t get out as much anyway.

If you are contagious with the city, would you actually consider coming to live in New York?

JH: You need money to live here, and I can’t have a little bitty place. If I do Broadway, then they can pay for it. See, I think things out.

With ‘American Idol’, do you watch the show still?

JH: I try.

How do you think the show has progressed since you were on it? Singers are already trained by the time they get on the show.

JH: For us, they didn’t do too much vocal grooming or anything like that or even star grooming. It’s just that experience that you grow and learn as you go along, and just have to pick up. It’s still a great opportunity for newcomers and it’s better than nothing and it’s ‘Idol’ so it can help your career. It’s just a matter of taking from it, and not just being in it and just doing it. You should prepare yourself. Simon even said it on the show, ‘Take it as a tool and network, and learn from it and build your foundation and be prepared for whatever comes in the future, and be ready for whatever comes.’

What’s Paula (Abdul) like?

JH: She was always sweet to us. She used to bring us gifts. I wouldn’t say every week. I wish I knew where my little necklace was but she brought us a bracelet and a necklace. She was always giving gifts. We didn’t spend a lot of time with the judges at all.

Have you stayed in touch with any of other contestants from your year?

JH: I try to. To me, we’re all like a family because there are only so many people in the world that shared the same experience. It’s very few of us. It gives you this connection and I try to support all of them and keep in contact. If you see each other, it’s like you know each other.

Did any of your friends tell you congratulations about winning the job on ‘Sex and the City’?

JH: No.

What about ‘Dreamgirls’?

JH: I got a lot of calls back then. Everybody was like, ‘Wow!’ because that’s what we all want. That’s why you go on the show and to see it happen to one of us, then maybe you start to think, ‘Maybe this could happen to me too’.

If you win another Academy award, would you say anything different in your speech?

JH: Oh yeah. I would have a brand new speech. Hopefully I won’t be as nervous as I was before. Those are the most nerve wrecking to me, the speeches. I would say that if I don’t win, at least I don’t have to give a speech. That’s what I was thinking.

How’s the Oscar process? That must have been an insane year. How did you prepare for it?

JH: It’s like boot camp. It’s like torture. Everybody is crazy at this point, obsessed with it, and everything you do is magnified and watched, and you couldn’t breathe. I had a purse I couldn’t even carry because it had diamonds on it; a place where an Oscar nominee can’t carry this bag, or ‘Don’t say this or don’t do that’. It’s very groomed and very watched. So, it’s sort of scary.

I noticed Andre Leon Talley in the film and I know that you are very good friends with him. Did you connect with each other on the set?

JH: No, we didn’t. Andre didn’t even tell me he was in the film, but after I saw him, I had to say something, ‘I saw you Andre!’ He was definitely himself I know that much.

How is it different for an Oscar winner going home? Does your family treat you any different?

JH: Well, they don’t pay me no mind. They all want the Oscar. It gets a lot of attention, really. Everybody really wants to see this Oscar. People are like, ‘Can you bring it over?’ I have to tell this story, but I was on a plane once and I was sleeping and then I had to use the bathroom really bad. So, I woke up and the curtains were closed in the front, and I was like, ‘Oh God! How long are they going to be? I gotta use the bathroom. So I couldn’t take it anymore and I get up, go behind the curtain, and they are standing there, taking pictures with the Oscar. So, I couldn’t go to the bathroom because there were folks behind the curtain taking pictures with the Oscar! That was holding me up. My assistant was back there with them while they were taking pictures. I leave it at home now.

Where do you keep it at home? In your bedroom?

JH: As soon as you walk in the door, there is a mantle and it’s sits on a lighted stand and you can see the Oscar.

How was that experience when you were on the cover of Vogue?

JH: That was a lot of work. I had never been on a photo shoot that long. It wasn’t supposed to be a cover at first. It was supposed to be like a little insert in the magazine; and they saw me come in and they were like, ‘We have to make you the cover’ and they quickly completely switch the location, the shoot, and everything all in that same day, and decided to make into a two day shoot for the cover. I worked all day and all night for that cover. I was happy about it, but I worked for it.

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