Jennifer Hudson has shown the world she’s a multifaceted beast who can conquer any obstacle that comes her way.
From achieving EGOT status to playing iconic roles like Aretha Franklin in Respect and Effie in Dreamgirls, Hudson continues to let the world know her artistry cannot be tamed. The incomparable entertainer has been reaching milestone after milestone in her career, most recently debuting “The Jennifer Hudson Show” on her birthday (Sept. 12).
In an exclusive chat with REVOLT, the singer and actress shares her biggest motivator, the topics she’s interested in featuring on her new daytime talk show, and Whoopi Goldberg’s reaction to her EGOT achievement.
What made you want your own talk show?
Having a talk show has always been something I’ve been passionate about. It’s something I do already because the only difference is the camera is rolling. I’m going to speak to the people regardless. I love connecting with others — I’m inspired by hearing others’ stories. I also want to give people a platform the same way I was blessed with one and put the spotlight on others.
What is your biggest motivator each day to get up and go after your goals?
Passion. I don’t sleep much, but why rest when you’re busy living your dream? I’m excited about every day, and the people around me inspire me. Everyone around me is doing their passion, and that’s why we do what we do — for the love of the craft.
You’ve previously mentioned you want to have lots of fun on the show. What topics would you like to cover?
I want to cover current topics that are happening in the world. Whenever I see something out of the blue, I think about how that topic would be great for the show. I love hearing other people and their perspectives — let’s talk about it because I want to hear what you think. I love watching people and reading their subtext — one of my favorite things to do is people tend, which could be the actress in me (laughs). I want to know how they feel and could be impacted because we’re all in this world and affected by it. It would be interesting to hear perspectives — I even listen to debates on specific topics on the show. While I was growing up, we used to have discussions in the church. I think the massive issue with the world today is listening. If we all heard from each other’s perspectives, we’d have a clearer understanding of where we all stand.
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How does being interviewed by an entertainer compare to being interviewed by journalists?
Now that’s an interesting question. I would say perspective. If you’re interviewed by one of your peers, they understand your experience and can relate to it. Journalists may approach the interview differently, which is good, too. They may pull out different things from the person they are interviewing due to particular interests they may have or want to learn more about — it varies. I want to bring this to the table as a talk show host where I can relate to actors that come on the show and speak on their films. I can approach the interview from an actor’s and host’s perspectives to get a different insight.
As a businesswoman, what was the most significant decision you had to make regarding “The Jennifer Hudson Show”?
That is such a good question. I would say leaping to do something so bold as going into a space like this. This is a huge deal — audiences will watch me walk the tightrope again. When I did the film Respect and played Aretha Franklin … I held my breath to do this again and follow behind Oprah, Ellen, and legends. We’re taking this journey together, and you will always see me try.
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You are the youngest EGOT winner ever and the second Black woman to reach EGOT status (after Whoopi Goldberg). Do you have any advice for young Black women striving to follow in your footsteps? Did Whoopi reach out?
[Whoopi] sent me flowers and a vast card that said, “Congratulations.” She has been an inspiration for me and helped inspire me to achieve such a thing — it’s fantastic to be mentioned in the same breath as her. For future EGOT winners, there are many more who will reach the status quicker than me. I hope to be an example to them.
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