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Blog Wed Feb 03 2010

Winnie Mandela Not Happy About Hudson


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Jennifer Hudson's meteoric rise from Chicago's South side to Hollywood really is the stuff dreams are made of. From her days as a contestant on "American Idol" to her Academy Award-winning turn in 2006 in Dreamgirls, Hudson has continued on the road to a burgeoning career in movies.

But even rising starlets have to hit a bump in the road; for Hudson, the "bump" comes via Winnie Mandela, ex-wife of former South African president, Nelson Mandela.

It seems Mandela is extremely displeased with South African filmmaker Darrell Roodt's choice of Hudson to play her in the biopic, Winnie, which will be in theatres in 2011. According to several sites, Mandela is upset that she was neither consulted about the film nor the actress that would play her. In addition, according to Times Online, the Creative Workers Union of South Africa is concerned about "using foreign actors" and "bringing in imports" to play South African roles.

Jennifer Hudson wouldn't be the first American born performer to play an African character: Denzel Washington and Don Cheadle were both nominated for Academy Awards for their roles in Cry Freedom and Hotel Rwanda, respectively, and just this week, ironically, Morgan Freeman was honored with an Oscar nomination for his role as Nelson Mandela in Invictus.

Now this isn't to say that Hudson's acting chops are anywhere near the level of the aforementioned, but the fact is, she was cast in the movie because someone saw something in her and felt that she had what it took to portray Mandela.

I wish J-Hud all the best, especially since Mandela is a very complex figure; consequently, she will need to bring her "A" game. Whatever she does though, I hope she perfects the African accent as best she can--that alone should make all the difference in the world.


BKW II / February 5, 2010 10:28 AM

I'm no casting agent or anything, but I think Queen Latifah would have been a better choice. She's clearly got acting chops/more experience.

Cita / February 5, 2010 1:28 PM

they didn't have to ask her persmission since the movie is based off a book anywayz. It's not their fault she was involved in the murder of a 14 year old kid, among other digusting things..

Kelly Reaves / February 6, 2010 2:33 PM

NOOOOO! Queen Latifah is a terrible actress!!! She really should stick to music. I'm rootin for Hudson. Go Chicago!

LaShawn Williams / February 8, 2010 6:53 AM

Kelly, you aren't holding the movie "Taxi" against her, are you? (The one she did with Jimmy Fallon...) :-)

norma / February 8, 2010 1:37 PM

I feel Winnie should be happy that anybody would want to play her in a movie. After all she is not known and remembered as a very good woman. Jennifer Hudson could actionly shed some light on her character. Jhud is a very good established actress. She will do a super job with the roll.

Kelly Reaves / February 10, 2010 11:28 AM

LaShawn-- I never saw Taxi, thank God. I am mostly referring to Bringing Down the House... didn't like that one much.

LaShawn Williams / February 10, 2010 12:13 PM

Kelly: BDTH was HOR-RI-BLE--I agree. She & Steve Martin had absolutely ZERO chemistry--not a good one at all. If you haven't seen "Set It Off," please do--you juuuust might change your mind about QL's acting skills. ;-)

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Theater Wed Aug 13 2014

An Epic, Tragic Win: All Our Tragic

By Benjamin Cannon & Mike Ewing

What then is to be made of the Hypocrites' new stage production, All Our Tragic? This massive opus, comprising all 32 surviving Greek tragedy plays re-written and directed by Sean Graney, lasts a staggering 12 hours, including intermissions and meal breaks. Ben and Mike go the distance.
Read this feature »

Steve at the Movies Fri Aug 29 2014

The November Man, Frank, As Above/So Below, Love Is Strange, Life of Crime, Bound By Flesh, To Be Takei & Me and You

By Steve Prokopy

Read this column »


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