Winnie Mandela, the ex-wife of former South African President Nelson Mandela, saw her contributions to end apartheid eclipsed by controversy, when allegations by her bodyguard that she had ordered kidnappings and murders began to proliferate, shaking the country. She continued to be beloved by her supporters but was reviled by those who lost faith in her.
“It’s definitely my biggest role yet, and it’s serious,” Hudson says. “People know Winnie, but a lot of people don’t know her struggle. You know what Nelson Mandela went through and what he’s done, but when you see Winnie’s story, it’s very powerful.”
“There’s no one like that nowadays who can appeal to so many different people. She’s one of a kind.”
“This is what she loves doing,” Smith says. “She’s blessed, and she knows she’s blessed to be doing her craft.”
Near the end of our chat, Jennifer’s ears perk up as she hears little David hollering from the other room, where he’s being watched by one of her reps. “I’m enjoying it,” she says, smiling. “All of it.”