Following her historic win at the 74th Primetime Emmy Awards last week, Sheryl Lee Ralph stopped by Jennifer Hudson’s new daytime talk show, “The Jennifer Hudson Show,” in which they shared only a moment dreamgirls can understand.
On Tuesday (Sept. 20), Ralph reflected on her role as the original Deena Jones in Dreamgirls. “I’ll never forget my audition,” the Emmy award-winning actor said. “Because I remember that day walking into — it was 890 Broadway, Michael Bennett’s big theater — and I walked in there. And I was walking behind Loretta Devine, because [Devine] was already, you know, becoming [Devine]. And these women in the room, they were not singers, they were sangers, baby. The building was literally levitating off the concrete. That’s how wonderful they were. And then there was me.”
Ralph recalled the moment she learned she won the iconic role. “They were very quiet. I think they were thinking something more in the Baptist vein. And they did not know I was a little Episcopalian girl,” she remarked. “So I sang my little song, and I sat down. At the end of the day, they said very dramatically, ‘If I call your name, it’s your day; if I don’t, it’s not.’ Yes, it was very dramatic. And then they said, ‘Loretta Devine.’ Uh, duh. ‘Ramona Brooks and,’ and I’m gettin’ ready to leave, ‘and Sheryl Lee Ralph.'”
In an impromptu performance with Hudson, Ralph wore a bright pink feather boa and performed the Dreamgirl’s choreography with the TV show host. “I can’t believe I get to do this,” Hudson marveled.
Ralph appeared in the original 1981 Broadway production of Dreamgirls, coincidentally the same year Hudson was born. Hudson starred in the 2006 film adaptation as Effie White and won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.
Last week, Ralph became the second Black woman to win the Emmy award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for her role in “Abbott Elementary.” Actor Jackée Harry initially won the award in 1987 for her role as Sandra Clark in the sitcom TV series “227.”
You can watch the performance between Sheryl Lee Ralph and Jennifer Hudson down below: