America’s sweetheart Jennifer Hudson to air in an exclusive interview with Lester Holt on Dateline. Holt interviews the Oscar and Grammy winner on Sunday, January 8 at 7pm/6pm Central on NBC. And on Monday, January 9 – the day before her new book I Got This hits shelves — J-Hud will appear live on TODAY.
Come inside to read an excerpt from the interview:
On Dateline, Holt and Hudson talk intimately about her body image, weight loss and healthyliving tips as they cook together; Hudson also discloses details of her upcoming nuptials, the Julian D. King Gift Foundation she started in her nephew’s honor, and more.
Read excerpts from Dateline’s exclusive interview with Jennifer Hudson below!
On her new book:
Lester Holt: This book is about your career.
Jennifer Hudson: Yea.
Lester Holt: But it’s also about your image. It’s about the struggle with weight.
Jennifer Hudson: Well I was much heavier growing up. But I was wearing, like size 22s or 24s and things like that.
Lester Holt: I Got This is more than a book title; it’s her musical anthem for “making it” as a larger woman from Chicago’s rough-and-tumble South Side, all the way to the top.
Jennifer Hudson: … That’s just how I look at things. Instead of second-guessing myself or doubting things, or even defeating myself before I even try. That’s where this came from. You know what – I Got This. That’s why I wrote this book. It’s like I wanna be that voice cheering others on you know. And if I got this, you got it too.
On Hudson’s fiancé David Otunga:
Lester Holt: I don’t know how to put this … let me just say that’s one chiseled piece of man candy.
Jennifer Hudson: Yes, he is. With a sweet romantic side, too. He’s very old-fashioned. Something he proved in August 2008 when he took the opportunity to ask my mom for, you know, permission to propose. And she gave her blessing.
On performing at the Super Bowl in February 2009, her first appearance since the tragic deaths of her family:
Lester Holt: Were you sure you were even ready to step out?
Jennifer Hudson: Well, I felt as though I had to. Again, just the same as I hear my mother’s voice in my head, I can hear my brother’s voice in my head. And he– they, like, everybody, it’s like, is she ever gonna sing again? Is she gonna– you know? And what was I gonna say to that– I could hear him, like, “Jennifer–” he would always say, “Knock it off, Jenny,” if I was cryin’ about somethin’ or if I was upset, discouraged, mad, “Jenny, knock it off.” That’s what I hear in my head. And it’s like, “Okay, well, what they want me to do? I can either just sit here and mope around, or do what I know that would make them proud.” And that’s what I did.
Lester Holt: And the crowd loved you for it.
Where Hudson was on that tragic day:
Lester Holt: … in Ebony Magazine, you talked about – that in some ways, he (David Otunga) saved your life, too.
Jennifer Hudson: Yeah, he did. I remember it like yesterday. And I was literally pickin’ up my bags to walk out the door to go to my mother’s house. And he called me, like, “Can you come out here instead of going, you know?” And I was like, “Okay, sure.” And that one decision, that one thing, I wouldn’t be sittin’ here.
Lester Holt: You would’ve been there?
Jennifer Hudson: Uh-huh.
On a wedding date and her dress:
Lester Holt: You’re so busy singing, David is busy wrestling. Have you guys had time to set a date?
Jennifer Hudson: Oh, we’ve set the date. We’re just not telling. … no, not telling. Some things you keep to yourself. (but) I could tell you about my dress if you want to hear about the dress.
Lester Holt: Yea, I’d love to hear about the dress.
Jennifer Hudson: It’s a show. It has three pieces to it. I designed it myself. It has a coat for the entrance and then when I get ready to walk, you take that part off. And then it’s another dress. And then by the time I get to the alter, it’s a whole new dress.
So will you be tuning in?