jennifer hudson‘i don\t recognise myself\
Last Updated : GMT 11:59:16
Egypt Today, egypt today
Egypt Today, egypt today
Last Updated : GMT 11:59:16
Egypt Today, egypt today

Jennifer Hudson : ‘I don't recognise myself'

Egypt Today, egypt today

Egypt Today, egypt today Jennifer Hudson : ‘I don't recognise myself'

NEW YORK - Arabstoday

Jennifer Hudson's life-changing moment of truth came when she set foot on the red carpet for the first time at a Hollywood premiere. Although just one of thousands of wannabe actresses, she believed her natural assets gave her the edge in the battle for stardom. "I was as statuesque as a supermodel with breasts that other women would pay good money to have," she says. "I stood out from the crowd — literally." But she was stopped in her tracks when a TV reporter thrust a microphone in her face. "And how does it feel to be the big girl in town?" she was asked. "I couldn't believe what I was hearing," Hudson recalls now, "Until that moment, I thought that size 16, the average in America, was how the studios wanted women to look — I hadn't realised that any woman over size 4 (UK size 8) is considered fat." It is only in retrospect, now that she is on, what she calls, "the other side" — having slimmed down from almost 82.55 kilograms to 47.63 kilograms — that Hudson realises she was discriminated against because of her size. "There's an unconscious prejudice against the fuller-figured woman," she says. "You would never understand exactly what I meant unless you got to live in both positions. I didn't know before. I thought things were great but you can't miss what you never had. "The only time I really noticed it was when designers would dress me. All they wanted to do was cover me up. They would want to hide every bit of flesh." The Jennifer Hudson of today is very different — both physically and mentally — from who she was a decade ago. She says the only thing she recognises about herself now are a scar on her hand and her voice. "There's nothing left for me to grasp on to of who I was," she says. "And I don't just mean there is less flesh — I'm a different person. I don't recognise old pictures of myself. I found an old passport and couldn't believe it was me. Or when I read old interviews I did, I don't recognise myself." Shedding more than 31.75 kilograms has helped, of course, but Hudson's story is so dramatic that, were it turned into a film, few would believe it. A big girl with an even bigger voice, she first found fame in 2004 singing on the reality TV show American Idol, where she came an unimpressive seventh place. Obscurity beckoned, but instead she went on to win an Oscar and a Bafta for her role in the 2006 film Dreamgirls, outshining co-star Beyonce. In 2008 she won a Grammy for her first album, had a role in Sex And The City: The Movie, and got engaged to David Otunga, a professional wrestler. Physical scars But that same year, tragedy struck. Her mother, brother and seven-year-old nephew were brutally gunned down by her sister's estranged husband and Hudson went into hiding for three months. Many wondered if she would ever have the strength to return to the limelight and it's a time in her life that she still resolutely refuses to talk about in any detail. Two and a half years on, it's no surprise Hudson feels like a different person. She's a mother now; to 20-month-old David — whom she credits with "saving my life". She also has a new album, I Remember Me, and has made a biopic in which she plays Nelson Mandela's wife, Winnie. Indeed, the only scars she openly shows are physical; her skin is criss-crossed with stretch marks across her arms and chest. Hudson attributes her strength to her undiminished faith — "I am so grateful for the favour that God has on my life" — and a go-getting attitude which her beloved mother taught her. ‘Just keep going' "I think we have no choice but to keep on going," she says. "No matter what happens in life you have to keep doing it. "There was a time when I thought I didn't want to sing any more. I didn't want to do it. But there's something in me that won't let me stop. "Even when part of me thinks I don't want to do this, another part of me thinks you have no choice but to keep on going." It is clear that her happy upbringing in Chicago has a lot to do with her approach to life. "Apparently we were poor but we didn't know it," she says of family life with her two siblings and parents Darnell and Samuel. "We always had everything we wanted. "My mother always wanted us to see the world; she said it's more than just the box you live in. All my family had huge personalities and we had a sense of who we are. Why would I want to be anyone else?" The family were practising Baptists and were in church every Sunday. Hudson, whose bus driver father died in 1999, soon had a starring role in the church choir and it was obvious — at least to her family and friends — that she was destined for greater things. Her best friend Walter — now her personal assistant — got her a gig on a Disney cruise ship. And by the time that had docked back in the USA he had arranged her an audition with American Idol. A wildcard entry into 2004's top 12, when she was voted off Simon Cowell told her: "You're out of your depth in this competition." Post American Idol, she says things happened so fast it was almost a blur. One minute she was collecting scrapbooks of Destiny's Child; the next she had beaten over 700 girls (including American Idol 2004 winner Fantasia Barrino) at the auditions to star alongside the group's Knowles in Dreamgirls, based on the story of the Supremes. "When I first met Beyonce I said to her, ‘You have no idea how much of a fan I am.' I still don't think she gets it. It was like a dream come true." By the time Hudson was awarded her Oscar, one of the few actresses to ever win one for a debut film performance, she was a bona fide star. What's more she had done it as a larger lady in Hollywood, where a British size 10 is considered hefty. But she admits at the time she did not realise what an achievement it was. ‘Red flag' Hudson says losing weight was entirely her own decision. The turning point came when she was six months pregnant and no one noticed. "I didn't even have to wear maternity clothes and that was like a red flag," she says. "My diet started four days after I had my baby. I didn't expect to get as far as I have." And she has been stunned by the response to her transformation: "It's like, wow, this is a whole new world. People treat you completely differently. You get more attention. You get more clothes. You get on more magazine covers. You get more opportunities; you name it." Inevitably, the rumours have started that she is beginning to look too thin. "Oh goodness, yes, people are gossiping," she says. "But trust me, I'm content right here. I don't believe in the so-skinny look. There's already so many more doors open for me. Why would I?" When she's come this far without conforming to every Hollywood norm; why indeed? From: Gulf News


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jennifer hudson‘i don\t recognise myself\ jennifer hudson‘i don\t recognise myself\

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