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Jennifer Hudson is Winnie

Published November 17, 2009 in Casting Update
By Ryan Parsons | Image property of WireImage, Variety
Jennifer Hudson Jennifer Hudson
First she got kicked of American Idol. Then she bounced back (big) with an Academy Award for her role in Dreamgirls. She's done things here and there ever since, and now Jennifer Hudson has signed on to star in Winnie, the drama that will have her play the wife of South Africa's first black president, Nelson Mandela.

Jennifer Hudson for Winnie

The biopic will be directed by Darrell J. Roodt, a veteran South African filmmaker whose 2006 film Yesterday was Africa’s Best Foreign Film nominee. The director also helmed Cry, The Beloved Country and Sarafina!

Winnie, set to enter production on May 30th, focuses on Mandela's wife, Winnie, who was considered a more complicated figure than the South African president. he has been depicted as the mother and wife who was a steadfast supporter of her activist husband and who was jailed herself for campaigning for his release and fighting against apartheid. Her image was subsequently tarnished by association with a bodyguard who murdered a 14-year old alleged informer, and she was later convicted of fraud. The film is expected to tell her true story, both the good and bad.

Filming will take place in Johannesburg, Capt Town, and the Transkei and Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela spent 18 of his 27 years in prison.

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Ryan Parsons
Sources: Image property of WireImage, Variety

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