Jennifer Hudson Gracefully Depicts Aretha Franklin in New ‘Respect’ Trailer

On starring as Aretha Franklin in Respect, Jennifer Hudson shares: “I just sit back and think about how much of a blueprint that she’s been in my life and in my career.”

Jennifer Hudson is demanding respect in the latest trailer for the forthcoming Aretha Franklin biopic. The new Respect clip features Hudson starring as the Queen of Soul and she manages to embody the brilliance of the late singer.

In addition to the wit and strength Franklin embodied, the trailer also explores how she struggled to figure out her niche and find her voice in the music industry. Director Liesl Tommy shares this was a decision that was made as a way to find a significant part of Franklin’s life that’d resonate with audiences. The feature film also stars Marlon Wayans, Audra McDonald, Forest Whitaker, Queen Latifah, Mary J. Blige, and Marc Maron.

On the project, Tommy also said:

“She was a great musician but she had to go on a journey to become that brilliant musician. That journey is a journey to self, and that to me felt like the most profound investigation into her legacy.”

We’re sure you already know this, but Hudson was chosen by Franklin to play her in Respect. Hudson notes that even with this choice, the film is 20 years in the making.  In an Entertainment Weekly interview, she shares “We originally sat down … right after I won my Oscar for Dreamgirls, we met in New York and we had a talk about it.”

Hudson adds, “There was no script at the time, but she wanted to meet with me, and we stayed in contact after that. It was when I was on Broadway when she called me and said, ‘I’ve made my decision and it is you, young lady, who I want to play me. But don’t you tell a soul.’ And I was like, ‘Yes ma’am, I won’t!'”

Aside from starring as Franklin, the actress, the film is also her first role as an executive producer. “I just sit back and think about how much of a blueprint that she’s been in my life and in my career,” she said.  “This is something very personal and dear to me. I wanted to make sure I was a part of it as much as I could be, in every way.”

Respect hits theaters on August 13, 2021. Watch the trailer below.

Robyn Mowatt

Robyn Mowatt is a Staff Writer at Okayplayer where she covers culture, music, and fashion. You can see what's on her mind on Twitter at @robyn_mowatt.

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Robyn Mowatt

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