Jennifer Hudson steals the show in ‘Dreamgirls’

Beyoncé Knowles may get more press and opportunity in front of paparrazi lenses, but newcomer Jennifer Hudson, according to critics and fans alike, is the real star of Disney’s “Dreamgirls,” opening Christmas Day.

Hudson has experience with difficult personalities, after all, she withstood the razor sharp critiques of America’s favorite Englishman, Simon Cowell on “American Idol” and now appears in her first film role with Oscar-winner Jamie Foxx, Eddie Murphy, and Beyoncé Knowles.

The Boston Globe reporter Sarah Rodman reports that Hudson had always wanted to become a singer, not unlike the phenomenal Jennifer Holliday, who created the role of voluptuous Effie White in the original 1981 Broadway show.

“I didn’t know anything about ‘Dreamgirls,’ ” said Hudson, to the Globe.

Not until “American Idol” — the season Fantasia Barrino won the Idol award, that Hudson learned of the Dreamgirls opportunity.

“I had to gain and maintain,” said Hudson to the Globe.  To achieve Effie’s fuller figure as well as study “Diva 101″ under the tutelage of director Bill Condon.

The Boston Globe reports that “Dreamgirls” tells the tale of Hudson’s Effie – overshadowed by the more conventionally attractive Deena Jones (Knowles, in the Diana Ross-like role).

Regarding the diva like qualities her character needed to pull off the role, her mentor Condon noted to the Globe: “She is so sweet and not needing to be in the spotlight, and again it’s the utter professionalism that Effie doesn’t have that [Hudson] just finds impossible to shed, thank God.”

Oprah Winfrey praised Hudson recently on her show.

“Jennifer Holliday’s performance is iconic,” says Jeffrey Seller, producer of the Broadway musicals “Rent” and the recent “High Fidelity,” to the Globe. “It’s one of the great all-time performances from the Broadway stage; it is up there with Ethel Merman, and yet what Jennifer Hudson does is she brings simplicity and youthful honesty to it.”

The entire interview can be viewed at:

http://www.boston.com/ae/movies/articles/2006/12/14/the_show_stopper/

 

 

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