Jennifer Hudson clearly has refined her physique, but if she hadn’t, her upcoming schedule might have taken care of it for her.
The third-season “American Idol” alum and Oscar winner for her movie debut in “Dreamgirls” is in for a very busy holiday season. She’ll join Justin Bieber, Cee Lo Green and host Conan O’Brien on TNT’s annual “Christmas in Washington” special Friday, Dec. 16. Then, she’ll team with other music stars including Mary J. Blige, Jill Scott and first “Idol” winner Kelly Clarkson on “VH1 Divas Celebrates Soul” Monday, Dec. 19.
Add to that the general Christmas and New Year’s pace — plus having a two-year-old son — and Hudson is glad she’s literally in shape for it all, thanks to the Weight Watchers program for which she has become a very visible spokesperson.
“It is unbelievable,” the friendly Chicago native tells Zap2it about the response to her dieting results. “I did not expect such a reaction, and it’s been an overall, drastic change. It’s such a life-changing decision that I made, and then to see so many other lives inspired by one little thing I decided to do for myself, it’s been incredible.
“It’s just so bizarre for me to hear people say, ‘I’m gonna go get my Jennifer Hudson on’ … meaning they’re going to go and work out. I’m like this advocate of health now, and it’s like, ‘Huh?’ It’s just a complete 180. I never would have guessed in a million years that I would be somebody’s motivation to get up and go to the gym.”
Hudson also is likely to motivate aspiring actors in the coming months, given the range of movies she’ll appear in. She plays the wife of former South African president Nelson Mandela (who’s portrayed by Terrence Howard) in “Winnie,” then she’ll be seen as a nun contending with the title characters in the Bobby and Peter Farrelly-directed “The Three Stooges” in April.
“I only do what I have a passion to do,” Hudson says of the screen roles she signs up for. “I love thinking outside the box. I don’t believe in limits, so I don’t want to be seen as just a singer or just a dramatic actress. I want to continue to grow, so I wanted to get my feet wet in comedy.
“Coming out of ‘Winnie’ into ‘The Three Stooges,’ those could not be farther apart,” acknowledges the talent who also co-starred in the first “Sex and the City” movie and earned a Grammy for her self-named 2008 debut album. “I just want to take my time and learn about the craft and the business. I look at everything as a lesson.”