Jennifer Hudson Singing Again for ‘Black Nativity’

Fox Searchlight premieres holiday pic at Harlem's historic Apollo Theater

Filmed on location in Harlem and timed for the holidays, Fox Searchlight’s “Black Nativity” premiered Nov. 18 at Harlem’s historic Apollo Theater.

The musical’s major coup was getting Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson back onscreen singing for the first time since “Dreamgirls.”

“This was a Langston Hughes play that’s done every year in African-American communities and (director) Kasi Lemmons wrote a script that’s relevant for today,” said executive producer Trudie Styler.

Styler and Hudson worked together on the last Rainforest benefit at Carnegie Hall. “Because of that I was able to talk to her directly but it took lots of convincing. She’s a super, super lady, an absolute pro with a big heart and we just appealed to her that this was an African-American story, going to be shot in Harlem, directed by an African-American woman. It checked all those boxes so she came onboard.”

“It took a couple of times, I must admit [to convince me]. But once I looked,” Hudson said, “at the story, the music, the church base, the holiday and the family — that’s all the things that make Jennifer.”

As for “Dreamgirls,” do people still come up and start singing “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going”?

“All the time,” Hudson exclaimed. “And they call me Effie. I think, ‘Wow, that was seven years ago. They won’t forget!’”

As for more seasonal songs, Styler likes “Silent Night.” “It’s in the movie but you won’t hear me sing it.”

Sting,” she added, gesturing to her husband nearby in a huddle with Antonio Banderas and Melanie Griffith, “does a pretty good rendition.”

Hudson prefers “O Holy Night.” “My tradition is to record a different version each year and this year I’m going to get started early so I can really explore.”

Angela Bassett and her screen husband Forest Whitaker, opt for “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus.” “I like the old stuff when I was coming up,” he said.

After the screening, the merry throng headed around the corner to Lennox Avenue’s Red Rooster for the afterparty.

More Scene

  • HOLLYWOOD, CA - JUNE 23: Actor

    Diego Luna, Mishel Prada Speak Out Against Border Separations at Latino Media Awards

    Filmed on location in Harlem and timed for the holidays, Fox Searchlight’s “Black Nativity” premiered Nov. 18 at Harlem’s historic Apollo Theater. The musical’s major coup was getting Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson back onscreen singing for the first time since “Dreamgirls.” “This was a Langston Hughes play that’s done every year in African-American communities and […]

  • LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 22:

    SZA Holds Nothing Back in Second Show Since Vocal Injury Scare

    Filmed on location in Harlem and timed for the holidays, Fox Searchlight’s “Black Nativity” premiered Nov. 18 at Harlem’s historic Apollo Theater. The musical’s major coup was getting Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson back onscreen singing for the first time since “Dreamgirls.” “This was a Langston Hughes play that’s done every year in African-American communities and […]

  • 'SORRY TO BOTHER YOU'

    Why 'Sorry to Bother You' Director Boots Riley Thinks His Satirical Comedy Is 'Realistic'

    Filmed on location in Harlem and timed for the holidays, Fox Searchlight’s “Black Nativity” premiered Nov. 18 at Harlem’s historic Apollo Theater. The musical’s major coup was getting Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson back onscreen singing for the first time since “Dreamgirls.” “This was a Langston Hughes play that’s done every year in African-American communities and […]

  • Tesse Restaurant Opens on L.A.'s Sunset

    Tesse Restaurant Takes on the Challenge of Making the Sunset Strip Hip Again

    Filmed on location in Harlem and timed for the holidays, Fox Searchlight’s “Black Nativity” premiered Nov. 18 at Harlem’s historic Apollo Theater. The musical’s major coup was getting Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson back onscreen singing for the first time since “Dreamgirls.” “This was a Langston Hughes play that’s done every year in African-American communities and […]

  • Tiffany Haddish

    MTV Movie and TV Awards: The 10 Standout Moments

    Filmed on location in Harlem and timed for the holidays, Fox Searchlight’s “Black Nativity” premiered Nov. 18 at Harlem’s historic Apollo Theater. The musical’s major coup was getting Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson back onscreen singing for the first time since “Dreamgirls.” “This was a Langston Hughes play that’s done every year in African-American communities and […]

  • Michael B. Jordan

    'Black Panther,' 'Stranger Things' Reign at 2018 MTV Movie and TV Awards (Full List)

    Filmed on location in Harlem and timed for the holidays, Fox Searchlight’s “Black Nativity” premiered Nov. 18 at Harlem’s historic Apollo Theater. The musical’s major coup was getting Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson back onscreen singing for the first time since “Dreamgirls.” “This was a Langston Hughes play that’s done every year in African-American communities and […]

  • Brandon Flynn, Timothy Granaderos, Alisha Boe,

    Alisha Boe Says Brock Turner Case Was Her 'Bible' for '13 Reasons Why' Season 2

    Filmed on location in Harlem and timed for the holidays, Fox Searchlight’s “Black Nativity” premiered Nov. 18 at Harlem’s historic Apollo Theater. The musical’s major coup was getting Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson back onscreen singing for the first time since “Dreamgirls.” “This was a Langston Hughes play that’s done every year in African-American communities and […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content