Jennifer Hudson on Acclaim for 'Respect' and the Possibility of Getting Her Own Talk Show (Exclusive)

ET spoke with the actress about being honored with the Chairman’s Award at this year’s Palm Springs International Film Awards.

Jennifer Hudson has a lot to be thankful for in the new year! The Respect actress spoke with ET's Kevin Frazier about being honored with the Chairman's Award at this year's Palm Springs International Film Awards, her plans to return to Broadway in hopes of nabbing her final award for the elusive EGOT and a possible shot at hosting her own talk show.

"I don't even know where to begin to say, like, how amazing it is to feel acknowledged and to be a part of such a prestigious thing," Hudson said, thanking her "Respect family" and PSIFA festival chairman Harold Matzner for the accolade. The moment is a full-circle one for Hudson, who sang Aretha Franklin's "Share Your Love With Me" for her American Idol audition in 2004. 

"It feels like having received an award just being chosen to play her and to live my dream to do it, so receiving an award for it is like the cherry on the top," she shared. "It is something I do not take lightly. I feel like we all put our hearts [and] every bit of our energy into this project to pay homage to her legacy, and so this is just a reminder that I get to look at and cherish with that in mind."

Hudon's critically acclaimed portrayal of Franklin garnered multiple award nominations, including Female Movie Star of 2021 at the People's Choice Awards, Best Actress at the 23rd Women's Image Awards, Outstanding Actress at the 22nd Black Reel Awards and Best Original Song at the 79th Golden Globe Awards. The strong praise is a reassurance for the actress. 

"[Being chosen for the role is] scary at times, you know. That's a huge assignment -- it's not every day you can get up and say 'I'm playing Aretha Franklin,'" she explained. "So, to be acknowledged and received in this way, [it's] like I can breathe now, you know? Because it's an exciting thing [when] you get that opportunity, but when it's time to actually do it? It is daunting [and] it can be very scary... So again, this is like a breath of fresh air."

Among the many trophies gracing Hudson's awards wall, the actress currently has the first three honors -- Emmy, GRAMMY and Oscar -- necessary to achieve the "grand slam" of show business -- the EGOT. She's only missing a Tony, which the 40-year-old says she's ready to head back to Broadway to claim.

"I am looking forward to going back to Broadway -- in what way, I don't know, when, especially in these times, I don't know. But I know I will get there," Hudson asserted. "I don't know when, I don't know how, and I will get there." 

"It's just yet another something to keep me driven and striving to do what I love to do and continue to expand my artistry in every way possible," she added, noting that every distinction she's been awarded has been an acknowledgment for all the hard work she's put into her craft.

But Hudson doesn't claim to do it all herself, happily reciting the list of names of the people who have been by her side over the years, including her managers and peers involved with her production company, Jhud Productions, Inc. "I always say I couldn't live this life without all of these people, so I have to send a special shout-out to everyone," she said.

With such a golden team by her side, it's no surprise that Hudson is eyeing an opportunity to do something she hasn't pursued before: hosting. Back in November, ET learned that the American Idol alum was pitching a daytime talk show, with Warner Bros. TV, in association with Telepictures, testing Hudson as a talk show host for a possible daytime debut in 2022.

Although the singer played coy on giving a definitive answer, she did concede that "there's always a plan" at works behind the scenes. 

"I would love to do that, that would be a whole new interesting world to walk into," the singer said. "I do love talking as you could probably already tell, and I love to Jennifer-ize people. So maybe I will make it into your living room, 2022 is definitely going to let us know for sure!"  

"Here at Jhud Productions, we always got a plan. And we never stop working and, as I always say, you will always see me try and grow so there's always a plan, I can tell you that much," she added.

Watch the video below for more on Hudson's journey playing Franklin in Respect.


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