Jennifer Hudson Reveals She Originally Saw Herself as Celie in Broadway's The Color Purple

News   Jennifer Hudson Reveals She Originally Saw Herself as Celie in Broadway's The Color Purple
 
Jennifer Hudson, who won an Oscar for her performance in the film version of the Broadway musical Dreamgirls, is making her Broadway debut for real Nov. 10 when previews begin for the revival of The Color Purple, in which she plays the charismatic Shug Avery.

She's also appearing as the cover girl in Time Out New York's special Broadway issue. Here are some highlights of her interview.

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On her Broadway debut: "Broadway is, and has always been, a dream I've had. Back before I got Dreamgirls, I wanted to play Effie on Broadway. But God always gives you a little more than you asked for, and I ended up in the film."

However, she says Shug isn't the role she originally saw herself playing in The Color Purple: "I probably would have seen myself playing Celie [the meek, guarded protagonist]. I think the most surprising role to see me in is Shug. She’s so glamorous, and I don’t think people see me like that. When they called me about playing the role, I was like, Weird. But then I realized, I do got some Shug in me."

Cynthia Erivo, who earned acclaim for playing Celie in the London production of the revival, will repeat her performance in the Broadway return of Color Purple.

Asked if this was her stage acting debut, Hudson said, "Actually, no! I mean, in a way, yes, because nothing is like Broadway. I feel crazy saying, 'Oh, I’ve done theater before,' because this is a whole 'nother level. I am highly aware. But when I was 19, I did a production of Big River in Chicago. Then I worked on a Disney cruise ship where I was Calliope, the head muse in Hercules."

About taking the big step to Broadway: "I’m nervous about that, too. Right now, stepping out and doing something like this and not knowing what’s to come, how it’s going to work..... To me, there is no more frightening world to walk into than Broadway, because it’s probably the industry I’ve always respected the most."

Click here to read the entire interview.

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