Fandango Premiere: Early Access

Exclusive: Jennifer Hudson Reveals How She Became Aretha Franklin for Respect

See a preview of our exclusive chat with the Oscar®-winner before watching the full interview during a special early screening of Respect on August 8th.

by | July 29, 2021 | Comments

It’s one of the most hotly anticipated anticipated performances of the year in one of the most hotly anticipated movies: Academy Award®-winner Jennifer Hudson as Aretha Franklin in Respect. And Rotten Tomatoes was fortunate enough to sit down with Hudson for an extended and exclusive early interview all about how she embodied the the heart, soul, and voice of the iconic singer.

Hudson was hand-selected by the late Queen of Soul to play her in the upcoming biopic, and early word is that she knocks it out of the park, delivering a stirring performance that’s already earning awards buzz in the industry.

In her exclusive Rotten Tomatoes interview, as part of our Becoming series, Hudson reveals how she channeled Franklin’s spirit, onstage and off; connected with her activist drive; used the incredible costumes of Clint Ramos to help her inhabit the character; and found a way to deliver iconic Aretha performances that honored the icon but also allowed Hudson to add her own spin.

Above, you can watch a snippet of the interview to get a taste of Hudson’s process. To see the full discussion and to learn more about how Hudson became Aretha Franklin from the actress herself, join us at a special Fandango Premiere: Early Access screening of Respect on August 8th. There, you’ll not only be among the first people in the world to see Respect, but you’ll be treated to an exclusive pre-show that includes the full Becoming interview.

Respect is the feature-film debut of acclaimed stage director Liesl Tommy, who has assembled an all-star cast that includes, in addition to Hudson, Forest Whitaker as Franklin’s father, Audra McDonald as her mother, Marlon Wayans as her husband, Ted White, and Mary J. Blige as 1950s jazz legend Dinah Washington.

And, just as importantly for fans of the Queen of Soul, the “set list” includes “Think,” “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” “Respect” – of course – and many more.

You can see, hear, and dance to Respect in theaters everywhere from August 13th or get the jump on the world and catch it at a special FP: Early Access screening on August 8th.


Respect is showing at Fandango Premiere: Early Access screenings on August 8th – buy tickets now. The movie is in theaters everywhere August 13th.

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