There’s a battle of the best version of Aretha Franklin going on, and it appears from fan reactions that it’s going to be a close call on who the winner is.
Last year, both Jennifer Hudson and Cynthia Erivo had the opportunity to use their powerful voices and their acting skills to transform into the legendary singer. Now both will be given a chance to be honored for their performances. The nominations for the 2022 Screen Actors Guild Awards were announced on Wednesday, and both Hudson and Erivo landed a spot.
Hudson’s adaptation of Franklin in the 145-minute film called “Respect” earned a nomination in the Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role category. Hudson will go up against several other outstanding actresses like Nicole Kidman who plays Lucille Ball in “Being the Ricardos,” Lady Gaga as Patrizia Reggian in “House of Gucci,” Jessica Chastain for “The Eyes of Tammy Faye,” and Olivia Colman in the “The Lost Daughter.”
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries is the category Cynthia Erivo was nominated for after playing Franklin in the National Geographic series “Genius: Aretha.” She is running up against Margaret Qualley’s “Maid,” Kate Winslet, Jean Smart who are both going for “Mare of Easttown” and Jennifer Coolidge in “The White Lotus.”
Despite the fact that Hudson and Erivo aren’t technically going up against each other, fans still took to Twitter to discuss which actress they think embodied Franklin the best. One person said, “YES to JHud! She deserves to win it! We only acknowledge one onscreen Aretha around here!”
Another agreed, writing, “Jennifer deserves! She knocked it out of the park with her portrayal, just like Aretha requested! No comment on discount Aretha.” Before passing away in 2018, Franklin chose Hudson to portray her in a biopic. The two even spoke when the movie was in the works.
Other people thought Erivo’s performance was better. One said, “The TV version was better they told all of the story and had many hours to do it instead of a 90minute movie.” Another wrote, “@cynthiaerivo wins hands down she held down a whole week of Aretha history
@IAMJHUD basically played herself for 2hrs.”
Erivo spoke to Atlanta Black Star in March and explained what her thought process was like when playing the iconic singer. She said, “Sometimes we forget that before we see this woman there’s a journey that has been made in order to get to that place, and I think that’s the thing that I felt responsible for, I wanted to make sure that we could see the journey.”
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