The Winnie Mandela biopic hits screens on Friday with Jennifer Hudson and Terrence Howard as the iconic South African couple. It’s but one of two films about Nelson Mandela, as Idris Elba will star as the South African icon in the second pic “Long Walk to Freedom.” In the trailers, “Long Walk to Freedom” with Elba as Mandela and British actress Noemie Harris of James Bond fame as Winnie, emerges as the favorite, but seeing Oscar nominee Howard and Oscar winner Hudson in roles well out of their comfort zone could be interesting.
But “Winnie Mandela” hasn’t come without its share of controversy. Although directed by South African director Darrell Roodt, the American cast was criticized by the Creative Workers Union, the Screen Actors Guild of South Africa, and Mandela herself reportedly objected to her depiction. Hudson says the film did take time to reach audiences.
“It was done almost three years ago actually,” Hudson told the Tom Joyner Morning Show. It was originally an independent film and also an international film so it takes a while to get distribution. T.D. Jakes picked it up so we’re grateful for that.” Hudson, an Oscar winner for “Dreamgirls” says that the challenge of playing Mandela forced her to make some changes.
“That’s what started the whole weight loss originally because I had to lose weight for the role and also getting down the accent. So they had me lose weight and work on the accent as well. “ Hudson would famously lose almost 80 pounds, getting a deal with Weight Watchers in the process. Though starring in the film, Hudson never got a chance to study her famous subject.
“I still haven’t had the opportunity to meet her, but hopefully this opens up a door where I can be able to meet her,” Hudson says. She too, has heard that Mandela was not happy with the movie, although Mandela never publicly criticized the actors, just the movie itself. “I’ve heard that in the wind definitely, but hopefully she sees it and she likes it .”
As for working with Howard, Hudson says he’s a Method actor, who remained in character throughout their shoot. Howard is in three films this season including “The Butler” and “The Best Man: Holiday.”
Hudson will be onscreen again this year in “Black Nativity,” also produced by Jakes. She has high praise for Howard as an actor, but is also not surprised he stays in the news.
“Terence is just an amazing actor. He was always in character all day everyday . He would come to me as Nelson and I was always Winnie on and off set. He’s always raising the bar so that was a great partner to be teamed up with. I’m not surprised[ that he keeps making headlines.] I’ll say that and I’m going to shut up. He’s an interesting individual.” “Winnie Mandela” is in theaters this Friday.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
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2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
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4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
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5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
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7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
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10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
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11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
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14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
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15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
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16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
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20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
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21. Bae #retailtherapy
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22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
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23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
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24. Diggy Simmons
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25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
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26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
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27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
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28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
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29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
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30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
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