Jennifer Hudson Talks Facing Her Fears: I Didn’t Start Singing With My Eyes Open Until I Was 19

Jennifer Hudson

Jennifer Hudson Talks Facing Her Fears: I Didn’t Start Singing With My Eyes Open Until I Was 19

Academy Award winner Jennifer Hudson is taking her many talents back to the big screen! Jennifer Hudson’s most recent upcoming project is the movie adaptation of Broadway favorite, “Cats.” Her co-stars are a star-studded cast: Rebel Wilson, Idris Elba, Judi Dench, and Taylor Swift.

Jennifer Hudson

But, starring alongside big names wasn’t a difficult undertaking when she accepted the role of Grizabella. Instead, Jennifer Hudson says she struggled with embodying the characteristics of an animal!

“You know, that was a discovery. How do you be a cat? As a human, I sat with that for ever. Then, wait a minute, I’ve got to sing ‘Memory?’ Hoo! As a cat. It was the most bizarre – not in a bad way – and unique experience. I was like, ‘What do I do?’ Especially with a character like Grizabella. I feel like she’s the heart of the story…I think that’s the cool thing, because no one knows what to expect. It’s so exciting!”

She continued:

“The cool part about it is that each cat has a story, which maybe relates to us as humans.”

She’s a superstar singer now, but J. Hud says she had stage fright for many years:


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“I didn’t start singing with my eyes open until I was 19. I was afraid to look into the crowd.”

However, due to her earth-shattering vocals, Jennifer Hudson says it’s difficult being offered roles that don’t involve singing. She said this about filming Winnie Mandela, which was released in the U.S. in 2013:

“I had to say to them: ‘Winnie doesn’t sing.’ They were trying to get me to sing in a choir! And I said, ‘Winnie, she does not sing.’…I like to stay as true to the character as possible. But they are always trying to find a way to make me sing, whether it’s film, commercial or theatre.”

She says despite her mother’s passing in 2007, she gains her strength from her:

“She used to tell us: ‘No matter what you put your mind to, you can do.’ She said: ‘I think you can act.’ Or, ‘Jenny, I think you can draw.’ I’m like, ‘Whatever, Momma.’ One of my other favorite things she’d say is, ‘Whatever makes you happy. As long as you’re happy, Momma’s happy.’ And that’s how it should be. No one knows what makes you happy, and who’s to say what you should and shouldn’t be? You know your value. Just because you value one thing, someone else may value another thing and you should respect that. And my mother – I can just see her saying all that.”

“Cats” hits theaters on December 20th.

Are you ready to see Jennifer Hudson channel her inner feline? Tell us in the comments.

Written by Miata Shanay

Authored by: Miata Shanay