Jennifer Hudson had just dusted off a place on the mantel for her Academy Award when Oscar gold came calling again — this time in the form of the lead role in the cinema drama Precious.
The 2009 role that nearly won then-Hollywood-novice Gabourey Sidibe an Academy Award for Best Actress was originally intended for American Idol alum-turned-Oscar darling Jennifer Hudson.
In her new memoir, I Got This: How I Changed My Ways and Lost What Weighed Me Down, Jennifer reveals that not long after she won a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award for playing singer Effie White in the 2006 film Dreamgirls, she was courted for the title role in lensman Lee Daniels’ cinema drama Precious.
The Weight Watchers spokesmodel found the role — an abused, supersized teen mom coming of age in 1980s Harlem — riveting.
The 100 pounds she likely would have had to add to her already plump frame to play the part convincingly?
Yeah, not so much.
“I had done that with Effie… and as much as I was moved by this film,” J-Hud writes in her new book. “I wanted to try a role that had nothing whatsoever to do with my weight.”
Jennifer declined the role.
And boy did that put Daniels in a pickle.
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“We were weeks away from the shoot, but I still hadn’t found Precious,” he told Britain’s The Guardian shortly before the film’s release. “Do you know how difficult it is to find a 300 pound black girl to be great in a movie? They don’t exist in Hollywood.”
Luckily for Lee, at her friends’ insistence, Sidibe cut a class to audition at an open casting call in Manhattan.
The rest is the stuff Oscar Cinderella stories are made of.
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