*The new MGM film “Respect,” starring Academy Award winner Jennifer Hudson, follows the rise of the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin.
The story shows Franklin on a quest for stardom and independence from the controlling men in her life. It starts at the early beginnings of her career as a child singing in her father’s choir to her international superstardom.
Hudson is also an executive producer on the project. The film is close to her heart because Franklin handpicked her for the role, before she died. Hudson spoke with EURs Jill Munroe about the experience of producing the project and what she hopes fans learn about the icon.
“Adding in the producer’s hat makes this project different from other projects in the past,” said Hudson. “In my previous projects, I was the hired actress. You do your job, and you go home. But this allowed me to be more involved and more present. Have more of a say-so. And I think it was necessary and needed because the project is so personal to me.”
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“It’s important to me for fans to know who Aretha was as a person,” said Hudson. “And definitely, her faith…That was most crucial to me. And for me to personally make sure that was always ever-present throughout the film. No matter what she was going through in her journey, no matter what genre of music she may have been singing, we had to make sure her faith and the gospel were in it through it all.”
“Respect” also stars Forest Whitaker as C.L. Franklin, Marlon Wayans as Ted White, Audra McDonald as Barbara Franklin, Marc Maron as Jerry Wexler, Tituss Burgess as Reverend Dr. James Cleveland, Kimberly Scott as Mama Franklin, Saycon Sengbloh as Erma Franklin, Hailey Kilgore as Carolyn Franklin, Heather Headley as Clara Ward, Skye Dakota Turner as Young Aretha Franklin, Tate Donovan as John Hammond and Mary J. Blige as Dinah Washington.
See #RespectMovie only in theaters on August 13, 2021.