She’s won a GRAMMY Award, a Golden Globe, an Academy Award and now her name will be forever displayed among Hollywood elite as Jennifer Hudson prepares to accept her star on the Walk of Fame Wednesday afternoon.
On the eve of her star ceremony, Jennifer, rocking a fierce new pixie cut, stopped by The WAVE studios for a candid conversation with Deborah Howell about her special day, the inspiration behind her drastic hair makeover, her upcoming holiday film Black Nativity and much more.
Getting right into the question on everyone’s minds, what exactly inspired Jennifer to go pixie punk with her hair?
“It’s all about timing and right now it’s the time for me,” she explained. “I just wanted a change and something different. I was actually shooting a film where I had shorter hair and I loved it. So once it was released I was able to switch over and say ‘okay, I want to go all the way.'”
Jennifer notes that the ease of shorter hair saves so much time while getting ready for her busy lifestyle, and is trying to make this new look all her own.
“It’s so much easier, it really is and I love it” she added. “I’m still getting my niche with it and ‘Jenniferizing’ it as I would say.”
With an edgy new look and a team of stylists by her side picking out the perfect outfit, Jennifer is ready to wow on her special day to accept her star on the prestigious Hollywood Walk of Fame in front of the W Hollywood Hotel. On whether she’s ever dreamed about receiving an honor like this as a child, Jennifer is nearly speechless on how to describe what this honor means to her.
“You don’t dream of something like that, because it seems intangible, or you see it and you think of different ones having it, but I don’t think it’s anything anyone really dreams about, and for it to happen is just, wait…wow,” she said.
The month of November not only marks Jennifer’s star ceremony, but also the release of her third movie in three months with the holiday film Black Nativity hitting theaters on Nov. 27th.
“It’s such a beautiful film and a beautiful holiday film,” she said. “It’s based off of the Langston Hughes play…and it’s the musical, but it’s so different from any musical I’ve ever seen – it’s shot differently, the music is very diverse…it has this hip hop edge to it.”
Jennifer says the Christmas season is her favorite time of the year because “everyone is on one accord” and the spirit of the holidays always brings people together.
“That’s why I wanted to do this film. I was like, ‘we don’t have enough films like this out that brings people together and families,’ and this film we do that,” she said.
It’s been a busy past few months for Jennifer, but somewhere in the mix of shooting three films, she found time to hit the studio to record a brand new single with Pharrell Williams called “I Can’t Describe (The Way I Feel).”
The song has an old school R&B sound, which Jennifer notes was in tribute to the great singers before her like Chaka Khan and Cheryl Lynn. On what it was like working with R&B’s hottest producer of the moment, Jennifer says recording with Pharrell was like a dream.
“Every session we did together it felt like a party…it just felt so good. When you listen to Pharrell’s music, it just makes you feel good, and it’s real music,” she said. “He’s extremely hands on, but at the same time, he allows you to be the artist you are and explore that.”
With an incredible year behind her, Jennifer tells us one of her proudest accomplishments is working with her sister on their charity the Julian D King Gift Foundation. The charity, established in memory of her late nephew Julian, provides “stability, support and positive experiences for children of all backgrounds to help enable them to grow to be productive, confident and happy adults.”
“My nephew was extremely into education…so in his honor we decided to have a school supply drive where we give back to unfortunate kids to make sure they have the school needs to go to school,” she said.
She added that the foundation also hosts a holiday toy drive for children in the community in which teachers nominate deserving students to be selected by the foundation to grant their “biggest Christmas wishes” on Christmas Eve.
“We decided to give back in that way, but at the same time still encourage the kids to try and to know that positivity is rewarded,” she said.
It’s this generosity and connection with her community that makes Jennifer an inspiration and role model to so many. From the beginning of her singing career on American Idol, fans have seen Jennifer rise above her struggles to come out even stronger on the other side, and she credits all the fan support for acting as “the wind beneath her wings.”
“That is the most overwhelming surprising thing about my career, my life, all of that just to see the support that I’ve been surrounded around,” she said. “People have always been there through the ups, through the downs…at times when I want to give up, everyone else is there to keep me pushing on.”