The film also stars Marlon Wayans, Forest Whitaker, Audra McDonald and Mary J. Blige

By Eric Todisco
November 06, 2019 09:53 AM
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Jennifer Hudson is showing some respect for the Queen of Soul.

On Tuesday, the Dreamgirls actress, 38, was photographed in New York City while on the set of Respect, the 2020 biopic film based on the life of Aretha Franklin.

In the photos, Hudson, who portrays the legendary singer in the movie, got into character wearing a retro-style bun paired with an over-sized tweed coat and elaborate earrings, as she walked the streets beside costar Marlon Wayans, who plays Franklin’s first husband, Ted White.

Wayans, 47, looked the part dressed in a plaid coat, grey suit and a classic feathered-fedora hat. One of the on-set photos captured the pair taking a break from their walk to lock lips for the romantic scene.

Jennifer Hudson and Marlon Wayans
Jose Perez/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images
Jennifer Hudson and Marlon Wayans
Jose Perez/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images
Jennifer Hudson

Theater director Liesl Tommy will direct the upcoming film, which also stars Forest Whitaker, Audra McDonald, Mary J. Blige, Hailey Kilgore, Marc Maron, Tate Donovan and Tituss Burgess

And while Hudson’s role as Franklin was announced last year, in 2016, Franklin told PEOPLE that she had already approved of who was going to portray her on-screen.

“I’ve talked to the person that is going to play me,” she said. “I’m not going to say who I chose, but I’ve talked to her and she’s ready and I’m happy with her.”

Hudson remembered Franklin at her 2018 funeral with an electrifying performance of “Amazing Grace” in Detroit. Her final sustained notes drew cheers from the audience, who rose to their feet in rapturous ovation for the star.

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In May, Hudson gave a surprise performance in honor of Franklin at the Pulitzer Prize luncheon at Columbia University, where the late singer was being posthumously honored “for her indelible contribution to American music and culture for more than five decades.”

As she did for Franklin’s funeral, Hudson once again paid tribute to the Queen of Soul with a now-iconic performance of “Amazing Grace.”

Jennifer Hudson
Bebeto Matthews/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Hudson commemorated the occasion on her Instagram shortly after and highlighted the significance of Franklin’s Pulitzer Prize special citation honor as the first individual woman to earn the special prize since it was first awarded back in 1930.

“Franklin’s citation was a rare move for the @pulitzerprizes. The queen still reigns,” Hudson shared on Instagram at the time.

Respect is in theaters Aug. 14, 2020.