Roy Rochlin/FilmMagic; Michael Stewart/WireImage Jennifer Hudson (L); Aretha Franklin
"Sometimes, while taking pictures with someone, I'm like, 'Oh wow, I'm smiling like Aretha,' " Hudson said about her experiences. "Or, 'That response was more Aretha-like.'"
"You identify little things like that in yourself that are still there," she continued.
According to the star, Franklin's influence has even bled into her fashion sense — and enhanced her musical ability!
Matt Sayles for Variety (Jennifer Hudson); Kirsten Shultz for Variety (Carole King) Jennifer Hudson (L) and Carole King for Variety
"A lot of my own personal wardrobe now is things that resemble things that she would wear — a lot of fluffy, furry little jackets with leopard prints and things like that that helped me embody her character at times," Hudson said.
"And I still do the piano [after learning it for the film]. I'm still trying to master it. Guess what? The song I can play the best, so far, is 'Natural Woman.' I'm going to do it for you one day," she added.
Hudson went on to reveal that while filming Respect, "what was most important" to her "was holding onto [Franklin's] faith" and "her gospel roots, which are mine also."
She explained, "We needed to open up the doors of the church, as we say. Even as you listen to the different songs in the film, yes, other genres were a part of her background, but the base was always the gospel. And so I just wanted to tie up the bookends."
RELATED VIDEO: Jennifer Hudson Talks Playing Aretha Franklin as Trailer for Respect Drops: "A Dream Come True"
Hudson previously opened up to InStyle for the magazine's August cover story, in which she reflected on how relating to Franklin's life story — specifically, "as a person who has suffered a lot of loss" — helped her portray the late soul legend. (Franklin died in 2018 of pancreatic cancer at age 76.)
While the star didn't touch on specifics, there are scenes in Respect that deal heavily with grief and pain, including the death of Franklin's mother Barbara (Audra McDonald) and the singer's abusive relationship with her first husband, Ted White (Marlon Wayans).
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"In that moment, it clicked with me like, 'Is this what she saw in me?'" the American Idol alum said of her musings about why Franklin wanted her on board. "Because we parallel in so many ways through our life stories and the things we've been through and experienced."
Respect premieres in theaters Aug. 13, with the soundtrack being released on the same day.