Jennifer Hudson Playing Mandela's Wife In Biopic

By Katey Rich 2009-11-18 07:18:49discussion comments
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For her first post-Oscar role, Jennifer Hudson chose a little poorly, playing an underdeveloped saintly assistant character in the Sex and the City movie, and being gifted with a hideous designer bag at the end for all her troubles. Since then she's been doing a little better, taking a decent role in the decent movie The Secret Life of Bees. And now she's going all the way up to the Presidency.

Well, sorta. Variety is reporting that Hudson will play Nelson Mandela's wife Winnie in a biopic about the political activist. Winnie is a far more polarizing figure than the widely celebrated Mandela, having been accused of ordering assassinations on political enemies, encouraging violence in the fight to end apartheid, and convicted of fraud in 2003. She stayed married to Mandela throughout his imprisonment on Robben Island, but divorced him soon after he was freed thanks to her own adultery.

Honestly, I'm still not 100% convinced of Hudson's talents beyond singing, but this woman sounds completely fascinating, and I'd love to see any on-screen portrayal of what seems like an amazing life. There are precious few female politicians of note anywhere in the world, and the fact that Winnie Mandela is a controversial and apparently ruthless one means the portrait will be more than simply a loving tribute (like, say, probably the Mandela depiction Morgan Freeman is giving in Clint Eastwood's Invictus). If Hudson isn't up to the part the movie could be a serious disaster, but given the right director and some serious focus, I think she could pull it off. With a story this fascinating, she'd better.
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