Jennifer Hudson and Cynthia Erivo both score SAG Awards nominations for playing Aretha Franklin
Among the film nominees for Female Actress in a Leading Role was Jennifer Hudson, who portrayed the Queen of Soul in the biopic Respect. Meanwhile, Cynthia Erivo earned a nod for Female Actor in a TV Movie or Miniseries for her role as Franklin in National Geographic's Genius: Aretha.
Prior to her death in 2018, Franklin hand-picked Hudson to portray her on the big screen by giving the Dreamgirls Oscar winner her blessing. "We spoke weekly, and she would have conversations," Hudson told EW of her relationship with the late singer and how being so close to Franklin influenced her performance. "And it wasn't until I was like, in the middle of things or even doing research and I'm like, 'Wow, she wasn't just talking, she was really speaking from experience; these were real-life happenings for her for me to draw from,' or 'Wow, that's what she saw in me that I didn't think of that she may have seen that made her pick me.' It was realizations of that over and over again."
Erivo, who previously scored an Emmy nomination for her work in Genius, told PEOPLE and EW that she wanted to "honor [Franklin's] memory and the music she made and the life that she lived" in her performance because "she still gave the world such incredible music and brought many people together" in the end.
At the SAG Awards, Hudson will compete against Jessica Chastain (The Eyes of Tammy Faye), Olivia Colman (The Lost Daughter), Lady Gaga (House of Gucci) and Nicole Kidman (Being the Ricardos). Erivo will be up against similar A-list company in her category: Jennifer Coolidge (The White Lotus), Margaret Qualley (Maid), Jean Smart (Mare of Easttown), and Kate Winslet (Mare of Easttown).
The 28th SAG Awards winners will be announced live on TNT and TBS on Sunday, Feb. 27 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.
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