GoodyBlog Exclusive: Jennifer Hudson Dishes on Her New Film, The Secret Life of Bees

Jennifer_hudsonNote: GoodyBlog interviewed Jennifer before the tragic deaths of her mother, brother, and nephew last week. All of us here at Parents are stunned and saddened by the news and our thoughts are very much with Jennifer and her family during this difficult time.

GoodyBlog recently sat down with Oscar-winning actress and singer Jennifer Hudson in New York City during her promotional tour for her new album, Spotlight, and new movie, The Secret Life of Bees (based on the best-selling novel by Sue Monk Kidd). A buoyant, down-to-earth Jennifer dished about her engagement, family, and critically-acclaimed new artistic projects.

First of all, congratulations on your engagement!

Thank you, thank you! It was on my birthday, actually. It was a huge surprise. I was like, “What’s going on?” [laughs] It was the biggest surprise yet, I have to say.

You’ve got the holy trinity of happiness: an engagement, a record, and a movie [The Secret Life of Bees].

Everything keeps coming like a huge big surprise, one after another. It’s a whirlwind, but they’re all very good surprises.

In your new film The Secret Life of Bees you play the mother figure to Dakota Fanning. You’ve played a mother a few times now.

It’s interesting—I always end up with a little girl to mother, for some odd reason. I play Rosaleen who’s a sort of nanny to Dakota Fanning’s character, Lily, and they have a sisterly bond as well.

Is it a natural instinct for you to play a mother?

Yeah, I guess I have it in me. Like, “Oh, I could do this, I could be a mother.” A fabulous one, though. A fierce, fabulous mom.

Would you like to have a family someday, too?

Oh yeah, no question about it.

Big family? Lots of kids?

Not a lot, but a few. [laughs]

The movie is set in the 60s but there’s sort of a modern message
at the same time that families come in all shapes, sizes, and colors.

It’s definitely about that. That was one of the powerful things
about the film. Once you get to the Boatwright sisters, played by Queen Latifah and Alicia Keys
characters, and Lily, who’s a white girl with all of these black women
raising her—it wasn’t jaded and taken over by the society of that
time and the customs. It was about love. It wasn’t about race, it
wasn’t about [gender], it was about people loving each other, and what
happens when people come together and love each other for who they are
and put that extra stuff aside. It shouldn’t matter what color you are
or what sex you are or what sex you like, and that’s one of the beautiful
things of the film.

You had sort of an unusual path in that people knew you as a singer
long before you had an album. What was it like to finally make this
record?

It was a very, very crazy, exciting process. It’s something I’ve
dreamed of my whole life—since I was seven years old I knew what I
wanted to be and what I wanted to do. I didn’t expect the whole acting
side of thing to be before the music, which is a blessing, and I’m
grateful for everything.

We hear that Sex and the City is coming back for another round. Is
Louise [your character from Sex and the City: The Movie] coming back in the movie’s sequel?

I already told Michael Patrick King: Louise is moving back to New York. [laughs]
I am ready whenever they are ready to film it, if that happens. Yes,
definitely.

So what’s next for you?

Acting—more acting, more film. Music—I’m going to tour if I can. I’m
planning on touring, more films, more music, and a possible fashion
line as well, so there’s a lot to come.

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  1. by Carlye Taylor

    On October 24, 2008 at 8:24 pm

    My thoughts and prayers are with Jennifer and her family tonight. She lost her mother and brother today at 3:00pm.

  2. by The Gang's All Here!

    On October 25, 2008 at 9:23 pm

    Yes, our prayers go out to Jennifer – she’s a remarkably talented young woman. This is devastating news to handle in the midst of her own personal successes. Just sad and horrible.

  3. by Liss

    On October 26, 2008 at 4:56 pm

    Jennifer and her family are in my thoughts and prayers. I’m also hoping for the safe return of her young nephew. Let’s all hope that he can be brought home safely to his mother.

  4. by Q

    On October 27, 2008 at 1:28 am

    Prayers indeed. That her nephew is found safe, and that they may all find peace in time.

  5. by Myra

    On October 27, 2008 at 12:40 pm

    They have found a little boy in the SUV they were looking for – dead : ( I am sure that it is Julian.
    So, SO heartbreaking that he didn’t just let him go like he was begged to..that poor sweet baby. Such a precious little guy. His family is in my thoughts & prayers.

  6. by The Parents Magazine Staff

    On October 27, 2008 at 1:50 pm

    All of us here at Parents magazine are saddened by the news about Jennifer Hudson’s family, and our thoughts and best wishes are very much with them during this difficult time.

  7. by Amy

    On October 27, 2008 at 2:49 pm

    This is just so sad. Jennifer tried to get her family out of the neighborhood, but they refused since their roots were deep. One cannot blame them for wanting to stay with their church and community, but this is just heartbreaking. Our prayers are with the entire family. God bless them all.

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