• Day 78: Jennifer Hudson Inspires Us!

    Date: 2010.05.16 | Category: Uncategorized | Tags:

    Talking to Jennifer Hudson today at a seaside restaurant in Cannes was more than just another celebrity interview.  It was uplifting. Jennifer is only 28, she’s already won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for Dreamgirls, had a baby last year and in two weeks will start the acting challenge of a lifetime:  playing Nelson Mandela’s ex-wife Winnie, in Winnie.

    She also lost a ton of weight for the new movie because the filmmakers asked her to, but she said she didn’t take it personally.  I told her about trying to give up candy and desserts for a year (78 days so far!) and she was all for it, except she said she could never do it.

    Jennifer lost all her weight on WeightWatchers but she’s now their spokeswoman and told me the company won’t let her say how much she lost.  I’m guessing about 40 pounds. She said she loves the WeightWatchers “points” system because she gets to eat enough and not feel hungry.

    We bonded over diet talk, what a girl cliche I know.  I told her I was glad she didn’t do the Beyonce and Gwyneth “master cleanse” that is so trendy and sort of scary, I think.

    Jennifer is one of the smart stars.  She talks to you as if you’re a friend; she’s funny and self-deprecating.  She’s TALL too;  at 5’9″ she was wearing four-inch stilettos that made her tower over me – and I’m 5’8″.  She says everyone is always amazed at how tall she is.  She looked like a supermodel today with her height and weight loss.

    So she’s not arrogant – but like a lot of truly talented people, you sense why she’s a star. From what I’ve seen over the years, it  takes more than just talent.  It takes ambition, a steely competitive drive and the desire to master things.  I’ve noticed big stars don’t ever seem to have much self-pity, even when bad things happen to them.  So many other people just give in.

    Jennifer’s mother, brother, and nephew were killed in a shooting in 2008 and she stayed out of the spotlight for three months afterwards. Her estranged brother-in-law was been charged with their murders.

    But then she had a baby – and now she’s learning a Xhosa tribal accent to play Winnie Mandela. She’s working with a Xhosa dialect coach.  She says she’s nervous, but you feel a calmness and determination radiating from her.   Love people who get right back up on the horse and don’t hesitate to start jumping again – first by having a baby, then by changing her body – and now portraying Winnie Mandela.

    Do we wish Jennifer Hudson the best?

    We do!