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HOME > American Idol > American Idol 3

Ex-'Idol' Jennifer Hudson to portray Winnie Mandela in 'Winnie' movie


By Christopher Rocchio, 11/18/2009 

Jennifer Hudson is reportedly ready to undertake another dramatic role on the big screen.

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The former American Idol third-season finalist -- who won a 2007 Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her debut film role in Dreamgirls -- will star as Nelson Mandela's ex-wife in the film Winnie, Daily Variety reported Tuesday.

Winnie Mandela -- who was married to South Africa's first black president until 1996 -- was jailed for campaigning for her husband's release when he was sent to prison for fighting against apartheid.

The film, which will begin production on May 30 in the South African locations of Johannesburg, Cape Town, and the Transkei and Robben Island, will tell Mandela's story -- including how she was convicted of fraud and had her reputation tarnished since she was associated with a bodyguard who murdered a 14-year-old alleged informant, Variety reported.

"I was compelled and moved when I read the script," Hudson told Variety.

"Winnie Mandela is a complex and extraordinary woman and I'm honored to be the actress asked to portray her. This is a powerful part of history that should be told."

The film will be directed by seasoned South African filmmaker Darrell J. Roodt, according to Variety, which added the script is based on the Anne Marie du Preez Bezdrob biography "Winnie Mandela: A Life."

Hudson has also appeared in The Secret Life of Bees and Sex in the City: The Movie since her Oscar-winning portrayal of Effie in the film adaptation of the Dreamgirls musical.

Hudson is currently in the studio working on her sophomore album and is expected to sing Winnie's theme song, Variety reported.


(Photo credit Fox)


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