Jennifer Hudson, an Oscar-winning actress and singer, wowed at the Regency Village Theatre in Los Angeles on Sunday for the premiere of her new film, Respect, a biography of Aretha Franklin's life and career.
"She had a unique capacity to interpret her suffering for an audience of millions," screenwriter Tracey Scott Wilson recalls of the legendary singer:
"I think the word genius is turned around a lot sometimes, just sort of willy-nilly, and what I really wanted people to understand is why she was a true genius and how she became that, and what it is that she did that was so extraordinary. And I hope that comes through. She was able to take her own personal pain and sing all types of songs about it : songs of empowerment, sexy-romantic songs. She was always able to live her life through her music."
Director Liesl Tommy traces the formative years during which the Queen of Soul emerged from the shadow of the controlling men in her life to take ownership of her magnificent voice.
Hudson was selected by the Queen of Soul herself, Aretha Franklin, to play her in the biopic, and Hudson repays that act of faith by honoring the late singer’s towering legacy in Respect which hits U.S. theaters this Friday and U.K. theaters September 10.