Jennifer Hudson and Harvey Fierstein were on hand last week at the Beverly Hilton Hotel to talk about Hairspray Live! which airs on NBC December 7 (8 pm et/pt).
During the radio roundtable interviews, the Oscar-winning actress (Hudson won for Dreamgirls) explained how her early years singing in Church shaped her as a performer and artist.
“There you have a purpose,” says Hudson who recently completed a run on Broadway’s The Color Purple and has just started working on Adam Sandler’s next comedy Sandy Wexler. “You sing for a greater purpose and a cause. So any time I was given a solo I would literally sit with the director and say, ‘Okay, what message am I trying to convey?'”
Harvey Fierstein’s work as Hairspray character Edna Turnblad earned him a Tony. Hudson, a natural showstopper and skilled performer, will play Motormouth Maybelle, and her rendition of the musical’s most resonant tune (“I Know Where I’ve Been”) should bring down the house. Hudson has a definite supporter in Harvey Fierstein.
“She’s such an individual artist,” added Fierstein. “It’s like saying, ‘well somebody played that Chopin piece before.’ Yeah, but nobody’s ever played it like that. Just the way an artist approaches music, it’s just her voice and her experience and what she was saying before (with) going back to Church. Certain words hit you and…”
“It can mean different things to us all,” added Hudson.
Click on the video below to hear Harvey Fierstein and Jennifer Hudson give their thoughts on the power behind “I Know Where I’ve Been.”
Maddie Baillio, Ariana Grande, and Derek Hough are among the co-stars in Hairspray Live! (December 7, 8 pm et/pt).