You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

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

  • Max Mutchnick and David KohanGLSEN Respect

    'Will & Grace' Co-Creator Doesn't Want to See Tim Allen Get Political on 'Last Man Standing'

    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 […]

  • Katy Perry amfar

    Katy Perry Chides Los Angeles Mayor Over 'Those F---ing Bird Scooters'

    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 […]

  • Katy Perry Taylor Swift

    Katy Perry Praises Taylor Swift for Political Instagrams (EXCLUSIVE)

    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 […]

  • Travis KnightVariety New Leaders, Arrivals, Los

    How 'Bumblebee' Director Travis Knight Turned 'Soul Crushing Rejection' into Success

    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 […]

  • Darren Criss and Nick Jonas'Beyond' GLAAD

    Nick Jonas, Darren Criss Help Raise $400,000 at Justin Tranter's GLAAD Benefit

    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 […]

  • Sophie Turner and Joe Jonas in

    'Game of Thrones': Will Joe Jonas Appear on Final Season With Fiancee Sophie Turner?

    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 […]

  • Lena Waithe Halle Berry

    Lena Waithe Wants 'Boomerang' Adaptation 'to Change the Face of BET'

    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