By Masha Dowell | Shadow and Act November 26, 2013 at 2:53PM
Grammy and Academy award winner Jennifer Hudson, and
newcomer actor/singer Jacob Latimore made an amazing mother and son team in
Kasi Lemmon’s Black Nativity.
The respect that they have for each other is evident on screen and in person.
Was Jacob familiar with the play before starring in this production?
JACOB LATIMORE: I wasn’t. I had to do my homework after I got the role.
Jacob shares how he was cast.
JACOB LATIMORE: One of the producers on Vanishing on 7th Street recommended my name. And then I just went into the audition and nailed it.
It was a really warm welcome on set. Angela is great. Everyone in the film actually reminds me of someone in my family. Jennifer reminds me of my mother; strong minded.
Jennifer on how she related to her character.
JENNIFER HUDSON: As a parent; many will be able to relate to my character. We all want to provide for our children.
Also, my baby makes his debut in the film. It’s in the bus scene. We are sitting in the train station. He’s sitting on someone’s lap. He’s only four so it’s a bit of a process whenever were on set.
Jennifer on her character transitions between projects.
JENNIFER HUDSON: When I did Winnie; I was in South Africa for four months. And then I came home and did a Weight Watchers commercial and they were like you are using an South African accent. With Mister and Pete I had all these tattoos and my son was like why do you look like that Mommie? So it takes a while to come from that. But out of those three roles; this character is closest to my real personality.
The co-stars on how important music is to their lives.
JACOB LATIMORE: I’ve always been in music. I started out in music and I will continue to do music. My father and my brothers are in a gospel groups called the Latimore brothers. My cousin is Kenny Latimore. I grew up around music. I am signed with RCA now. Acting is something I started doing 3 years ago.
JENNIFER HUDSON: You know what? I’m going to say it like this. Someone once told me that singing is your gift and your acting is a reward from God for using your gift. I love it and I hope that I never have to choose. I say if God places me somewhere I have no choice but to be prepared.
Jacob on how he relates to Langston, the character he plays in the film.
JACOB LATIMORE: I couldn’t relate to not having a father or living with a single mom. So I could really only imagine.
Jennifer on writing her own music.
JENNIFER HUDSON: I wrote a song on my next album called Moan, and it came from my mother. She said if something hurts you; you should moan and it makes it you feel better.
On this next album, I’m working with Timbaland, Pharrell, Jerry Wonder, Diane Warren and more.
Following on the next page, is a summary of Mary J. Blige's roundtable chat.