In a recent LA Times feature, Jennifer Hudson is getting candid about her next career chapter as a talk show host. EGOT-winning actress and singer revealed her future plans for her forthcoming daytime talk show The Jennifer Hudson Show, including who her first guest will be, and what kind of host she wants to be.
“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. I love people,” she told LA Times‘ Greg Braxton. “It’s a natural part of me. Just as much as I come from a singing background, I come from a talking background. That’s where I get my inspiration, my energy from. Being around people, hearing their stories, seeing their passions. I’ve been blessed to have a platform to be able to achieve an EGOT. Now I want to be able to give others that chance. Come on my show, let me see your superpower, let me see your talent. What do you want to celebrate?”
She added, “Like I used to run around saying, ‘I’m the next Oprah.’ The universe heard me [laughs]. Obviously, she inspired me, and it manifested. It’s no different than the acting. When I was on American Idol, I would joke, ‘Maybe one day I’ll win an Oscar.’ And I did. It’s just how my life seems to function.”
Alluding to the idea that the world still hasn’t been able to get to know the “real Jennifer” outside of her music and acting, Hudson spoke about her plans to authentically be herself for the show. “That’s the thing. It is a difficult arena,” she said. “You will always see me try. It’s a journey that we all can take together. I want to figure it out as I go. I’m more excited than anything. You’ve seen me sing and play characters. Now it’s my turn to simply be Jennifer. I heard from Kelly, and she said, ‘If you need any support or advice, let me know.’ I know Sherri, another Chicago girl, is coming out with her show. We’re all supporting each other.”
Wanting her viewers and live audience to feel as comfortable as they can get with her, she said, “I want you to feel like you’re in my house,” she said. “I call myself ‘Mama Hud.’ I collect other people’s children — I’m gonna feed you if you come by. You might get so comfortable on my couch people will say, ‘Her guests always fall asleep.’ I have aspirations and sayings from my home.”
Hudson also plans to open up about some of the hurdles she’s faced in her life, such as the 2008 murder of her mother and brother. Her beloved family members’ bodies were found in their family home on Chicago’s South Side. Hudson’s mother, Darnell Donerson, and her brother, Jason Hudson, were shot to death.
“I’m not what I’ve been through,” Hudson expressed. “The tragedies or travesties. Even the successes. People assume it changes you. But you can still maintain who you are, no matter what you’ve been through. I want to be an inspiration for dreamers. If you can dream it, you can attain it. If you’ve been through something and you don’t think you’re going to make it, you can see that, well, she made it, and I can too.”
The Jennifer Hudson Show premieres on Sept. 12 on FOX stations. She has also revealed to Entertainment Weekly that her first guest will be Simon Cowell from American Idol.
Read J.Hud’s entire LA Times profile here.