In the lead up to the release of Aretha Franklin’s biopic, Respect, Jennifer Hudson told Oprah Winfrey she was fitted with 82 costumes for the film by designer Clint Ramos. “I think they ended up using 50…It was a huge part of the storytelling in who she was,” the actress later added. She can now add costume number 83 to the list after she stepped out onto the premiere red carpet overnight in an ode to the late soul artist.
Descending into Los Angeles, Hudson dazzled in a custom purple, sequin-clad gown by Dolce & Gabbana. The strapless dress featured a daring thigh-high leg split and sweeping train. The ensemble was finished with a chiffon veil in the same rich hue.
It was a spectacular display we haven’t seen since the pandemic began and fitting for the queen of soul. Franklin rose to prominence in the ’60s so if only judging by the trailer we can expect spectacular sequin gowns, feathers and extravagant silhouettes.
Speaking to ConciergeQ on the red carpet, Hudson praised the artist. “She’s always been one of my idols,” the 39-year-old told ConciergeQ. “And then for her to pick me to do this is beyond a blessing, a dream, an honour, I do not take it lightly. And I just wanted to give every bit of my all to pay tribute to her.”
“I can only hope and pray that she would be proud,” she added in another interview. “I think she would . . . I think so long as she knows it was all from the heart. And all I wanted to do was meet her request and it just so happened to be my dream to do this.”
The film will follow Franklin’s rise to stardom from a child singing in her father’s church’s choir to international acclaim. The cast also features Forest Whitaker as C.L. Franklin, Marlon Wayans as Ted White, Audra McDonald as Barbara Franklin, Tituss Burgess asReverend Dr. James Cleveland, Marc Maron as Jerry Wexler, Kimberly Scott as Mama Franklin, Saycon Sengbloh as Erma Franklin, Hailey Kilgore asCarolyn Franklin, Heather Headley as Clara Ward, Skye Dakota Turner as Young Aretha Franklin, Tate Donovan as John Hammond, and Mary J. Blige as Dinah Washington.
Respect will release into cinemas from August 19.