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  • Sarah Jessica Parker were such fans that they created a role for her in the Sex And The City movie, as a naive, small-town girl who arrives in the city looking for love. “Oh my God, that was my first time filming in New York, I was in the biggest whirlwind!” says Hudson. “Walking on the set, I was like [her character] Louise – I’m just this real normal girl who all these crazy things happen to.”

    Her latest project, Black Nativity, where she plays a struggling single mother, is the first time since Dreamgirls that she has agreed to mix music and film. “I turned down I don’t know how many [musicals],” she says. “What drew me to this is that it’s a holiday film: I’m a holiday fanatic. It’s uplifting – we don’t have enough of that in the world.”

    For Hudson, music is “like breathing”. One of her most poignant performances was singing in honor of Whitney Houston at the Grammy Awards after her heroine’s death. “As a girl I’d sit in my momma’s house and sing I Will Always Love You. That’s why [singing in tribute] was so

    “WHITNEY Houston said to me, ‘I turn my TORCH over to you; you are The ONE’”

    overwhelming. I’m just grateful I got to meet Whitney. She came backstage and was like, ‘I turn my torch over to you; you are The One’. I was like, ‘Oh my God! Did anybody else hear that?’ Had she not given me her blessing, I would never have stepped on that stage.”

    Hudson has also made headlines due to her significant weight loss, the highlight of which, she says, is the clothes she can now wear. Her favorite brands are Donna Karan and Givenchy, while Versace is her red-carpet go-to. “It is still very fresh in my mind, being a plus-size girl in Hollywood,” she says. “Now fittings are so much more fun.”

    Juggling music, films and motherhood is a struggle, Hudson admits, but she was raised with a strong work ethic. “That’s one thing my mother always taught us. I don’t ever want to depend on someone

    Dress by Jonathan Saunders; earrings by Lulu Frost; bracelet by Kenneth Jay Lane; ring Jennifer’s own

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