THE GRAPEVINE// J-HUD PROMOTES “WINNIE” DESPITE MANDELA’S LEGAL THREATPublished by on Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at 9:32 am.
Early this week Jennifer Hudson was in Cannes to promote her new film ‘Winnie’ a biopic on the life of South African anti-apartheid activist Winnie Madikizela- Mandela. But now Ms. Mandela is threatening a lawsuit if she doesn’t get to view and approve the script. The film ‘Winnie’ is based on the biography Winnie Mandela: A Life by, Anne Marie du Preez Bezdrob and director Darrell Roodt has said production will continue despite the legal threat and told deadline.com that the film “Is not for Winnie Mandela, it’s about Winnie Mandela.”
Before production began, the film was the subject of heated discussions throughout South Africa as some felt the role of Winnie should be played by an actress native to the country—not Jennifer Hudson.
Despite the criticism, Hudson has maintained that she is “honored” to have been asked to play this important role and states that the film will be, “very fair, showing Winnie’s attributes as well as her faults.” Hudson has been excited to play this part because she relates to the adversity that Madikizela-Mandela has overcome and felt moved when she read the script.
It is understandable why Mrs. Mandela is taking no chances where her image is concerned considering her incredibly important role in the anti-apartheid movement as well as her tumultuous and very public life. The weight Winnie Madikizela-Mandela has shouldered is a burden most of us could not bare. Hers is an extraordinary life, one that is a crucial part of history so it was inevitable that this story would be told. Jennifer Hudson has her work cut out for her. —Adisa Vera Beatty