Director George Tillman, Jr.'s The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete is out in theaters today (Oct. 11) and we chop it up with its leading lady, Jennifer Hudson, about the film, her young co-star and twerking with Miley Cyrus.
A proven double-threat on the screen and in the studio, Jennifer Hudson plays Gloria, a drug-addicted mother in The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete. The Oscar award winner, who admitted recently that she has never even taken a sip of alcohol, holds nothing back in her role as a prostitute, heroin addict and welfare recipient surviving in Brooklyn.
The character is a true departure for her, as Hudsonites would know by reading our review. The American Idol alum usually plays strong characters for her roles such as Dreamgirls, The Secret Life of Bees and the recently released biopic Winnie. As a mother raising a 4-year-old son with fiance David Otunga (WWE Superstar), Hudson's performance as Gloria was understandably made harder as David Jr. was right there on set. "It was difficult for him because he would see me rehearsing and preparing for the role and he'd be like, 'What's wrong with my mommy? Why are you acting like that because that's not how my mommy is?'" she says of her son's reaction to her playing an addict.
Told mostly through Mister's (Skylan Brooks) point of view, the Michael Starrbury script examines the perils of living in dire straits, while the young boys are forced to fend for themselves on the mean streets of Brooklyn. Jennifer Hudson's natural likability helps to humanize her very ugly character's attributes, even while she's sliding a needle in her arm and drifting off into a drug-induced haze.
The film tackles some very heavy topics, yet still manages to keep the brevity light in some choice moments.
We were able to sit down with the Chicago native and talk with her about how emotionally taxing it was to play Gloria, the challenges and rewards of being a celebrity working mom, how it was to work with newcomer Skylan Brooks and her thoughts about the twerking phenomenon that's gripped the nation by storm.
You can listen to the full chat below:
The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete also stars Jeffrey Wright, Anthony Mackie, and Jordin Sparks, out in limited release today (Oct. 11).