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Jennifer Hudson Says She Wants To Play Calliope In Disney’s Hercules Live Action

Jennifer Hudson Says She Wants To Play Calliope In Disney’s Hercules Live Action

The Respect star wants to take on the role of the leading muse.

She may already have an Academy Award, a Golden Globe and two Grammys under her belt, but Jennifer Hudson is already eyeing up her next role.

In an exclusive interview with Tyla, the Dreamgirls star has addressed fans’ calls for her to play Calliope in the upcoming Hercules live-action remake - and it’s good news for fans of the Disney classic.

Jennifer won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress as Effie in Dreamgirls (
PA Images)

The much-anticipated reboot of the 1997 blockbuster has been in the works for a number of years now with fans calling for Jennifer, who is currently starring as Aretha Franklin in the biopic Respect, to play the head Muse. 

While the casting has not yet been announced, the 39-year-old tells Tyla she would love to land the role of Calliope, having previously played her on a Disney cruise ship before finding fame.

“That was the only acting credit I had [at the time],” she says. “I already know the track. I am ready!”

Calliope was the lead muse in the original Hercules (
Walt Disney Studios)

Having grabbed the attention of the world in 2004 as a finalist on the third season of American Idol, Jennifer’s career skyrocketed from cruise ship singer to Oscar-winning actress after starring alongside Beyoncé and Eddie Murphy in the hit musical Dreamgirls.

The Voice UK judge also opened up about the process of transforming into the Queen of Soul, admitting it was difficult to film scenes depicting the distressing domestic violence Aretha experienced at the hands of her father and her first husband Ted White (played by White Chicks’ Marlon Wayans).

Jennifer blew audiences away as Effie White in Dreamgirls (
DreamWorks/Paramount Pictures)

Talking about its portrayal of domestic abuse, the singer says she hopes one of the main lessons from the film would be “the strength to overcome it and how to identify it.”

The Sex And The City star adds: “Sometimes people end up in those situations because they don't necessarily know what they're in. And so maybe to help them be able to identify it and then be able to get away from it.”

Mary J. Blige stars alongside Jennifer in the Respect biopic (

While celebrating Aretha’s ascent to global superstardom, Respect also takes a candid look at the civil right’s activist’s struggles with alcoholism, abuse and depression.

“I can't say that I couldn't relate to some of those moments,” she admits.

Starring the likes of Oscar-winner Forest Whitaker, singer Mary J Blige and Unbreakable Kimmy Scmidt’s Tituss Burgess, the film follows Aretha’s journey from falling pregnant at the age of 12 to working with Martin Luther King and becoming the superstar she is remembered as today. 

Jennifer stunned at the Los Angeles premiere of Respect (
PA Images)

Franklin, who died in 2018, was involved in the early production for the film and requested Jennifer to play her almost 15 years ago.

On being her icon’s first and only choice, Jennifer said: “I hope she will be pleased that [the film] is done. What would she tell me? She would say, ‘I'm the Queen of Soul’, and I would just simply say ‘yes ma'am’ as I always did”.

Respect is in cinemas on 10th September.

Featured Image Credit: MGM

Topics: TV And Film, Celebrity, Disney