Jennifer Hudson says her love for Whitney Houston’s “The Bodyguard” was a factor in agreeing to her latest film, “Sandy Wexler.”
The ‘90s-themed Netflix original film ― directed by and starring Adam Sandler, along with Terry Crews, Lamorne Morris, Nick Swardson, Rob Schneider, Jane Seymour and Hudson ― follows hapless Hollywood talent manager Sandy Wexler (played by Sandler) as his work-life balance is tested when he sparks a romance with his client and aspiring singer Courtney Clarke (played by Hudson).
The film marks Hudson’s debut in a comedy film, and she told The Huffington Post that starring alongside Sandler was one of her best career experiences.
“I’ve always wanted to do a comedy. And so, when I got that call from Adam to come meet with him to talk about me playing Courtney, I was like, ‘Oh, my God. Of course I would want to do this,’” Hudson said.
“Then he said, ‘It’s like a comedic version of “The Bodyguard,”’ and right there I was sold,” she continued. “Like, ‘OK, that’s one of my absolute favorite films with one of my absolute favorite artists, which is Whitney.’ And so I was all in, and it was one of the absolute best experiences I’ve ever had on a project.”
From her humble beginnings performing on a Disney cruise ship, the Chicago native rose to fame in 2004 as a finalist on “American Idol.” Hudson would go on to earn chart-topping success as a recording artist and score an Oscar win for her breakout role in the 2006 motion picture adaptation of “Dreamgirls.”
Hudson said that her “Sandy Wexler” character’s dream of attaining success in entertainment is similar to her own journey of breaking into the industry.
“For me, it was just finding a way into it,” she recalled. “I remember sitting back like, ‘This is what I wanna do, but how? There’s no formula, there’s no shortcut, there’s no strategy.’ And the only thing I could do is say, keep singing and hopefully my talent makes room for me.”
“And thankfully it did,” she continued. “But there is no certain formula for it, so it’s hard to crack that code and say, ‘OK, this is what I’m gonna do and then this is what’s gonna happen.’”
With a comedy now on her growing acting resume, Hudson has her eyes set on other career interests, including a role in a silent film. She also would like to get into directing, which was inspired by working with Sandler.
“That’s what I loved about this project, I felt more like I was not just an actor,” she said. “[Adam] would say, ‘Put your influence in there and approach it more like a partner, more so than you’re an actor. Do this.’ So it forced me and taught me how to be able to walk into those directing shoes one day.”
“Sandy Wexler” hits Netflix on April 14.