The Grammy-winning singer stars in the upcoming film Chi-raq about gun violence in Chicago

Credit: Michael Tran/FilmMagic

Gun violence is, unfortunately, an issue that Jennifer Hudson knows all too well.

The singer and actress – who stars in the new film Chi-raq, which is about gang violence in Chicago – recently opened up to W magazine about working on a movie with a subject that hits close to home: The Chicago native’s mother, brother and nephew were shot and killed in 2008.

“This is reality for me. This is my life. A part of my life,” Hudson, 34, said, adding that when director Spike Lee asked her to join the cast “I definitely had that moment of like, ‘Are you serious?’ ”

She continued, “But when I really thought about it, I understood why he came to me and I thought, ‘You know what? It’s worth me telling my story so that hopefully no one else has a story like this to tell.’ The film we’re doing is trying to save my city. … So for that reason I was like, ‘Okay, I get it, it’s worth doing.’ ”

But, Hudson says, “I don’t think it’s anything I will ever, ever revisit again.”

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The film is especially important, she says, in light of the recent rash of gun violence that has spread throughout the U.S.

“If we didn’t have these issues, I don’t think a movie like that would have needed to be made. That’s the point of making it, to make people pay attention and say, ‘Guys, we have to start somewhere,’ ” Hudson says. “And it’s not just the city of Chicago. It’s everywhere. It’s a bad time right now, no matter where we look. Kids can’t go to school, people can’t go to church, you can’t go to the movies.”

She adds, “It’s like, what are we doing to ourselves? What’s happening? We’re acting like animals.”

The Grammy winner says that it’s time to make a change and put a stop to these “unfortunate” incidents.

“Those who don’t get it, it’s like, how don’t you get it when this is what the issue is? And if you do have a problem with it, have a solution to come along with it,” Hudson says. “What plan do you have? How do you not try? And what are we supposed to do – just kill each other? It’s a scary time no matter who you are, where you go, what color you are, where you live, honey.”