Jennifer Hudson and Forest Whitaker on the set of Aretha Franklin biopic Respect in Washington Square Park in NYC before her performance at Kobe Bryant All-Star Game.
The actors were pictured in character walking in the park as they have a conversation with film extras dressed to fit the 1960s. Hudson wore a green pillbox hat, green 3/4 length jacket with fur trim, green kitten heel pumps, and green handbag as he wore a dark hat, blue long coat, blue trousers, and black lace-up shoes.
The Oscar-winning actress has been working on the film since last year when we first spotted her on set with Marlon Wayans who plays her on-screen husband Ted White and then filming in Central Park with co-stars Hailey Kilgore and Saycon Sengbloh.
Respect follows the life of legendary R&B singer Aretha Franklin and was approved by her before her passing in August 2018. Harvey Mason Jr. worked closely with Aretha and told USA magazine — “My duty is to do something that really honors Aretha and treats her in the manner I have been accustomed to dealing with her. I have a good feel for what she likes and doesn’t like. My whole goal is to do something her fans would be proud of and something that stands up to her legacy.”
Hudson was handpicked by Mrs. Franklin for the epic role, according to Harvey, who pointed out the similarities between the two powerhouses and why the Believe singer is a perfect fit: “They both sing with a lot of emotion. They both sing with a lot of range and power. It’s really hard to compare anyone with Aretha, though. I think the good thing about Jennifer is that [it] was Aretha’s pick to play her. … There was a lot of discussion about a lot of people, but Aretha was adamant that it be Jennifer.”
The soulful singer will be paying tribute to another legend over the weekend at Sunday’s NBA All-Star Game to Kobe Bryant in honor of the legendary basketball player who tragically lost his life in a helicopter crash with his 13-year-old daughter and nine other passengers.
The All-Star Game will be on Sunday, February 16th at the United Center and air live at 6 p.m. PST on TNT