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Less-hefty Hudson would savor right role

Sat., Jan. 21, 2012

Even though Jennifer Hudson has dropped more than 80 pounds, the singer and actress said she would have no problem gaining weight for Hollywood if the proper movie role comes her way.

“When I do films, it has to be led by something through me – like my passion for it,” Hudson said Wednesday. “I just don’t want to hop into anything. So if I commit myself to something, then it’ll be worth it no matter what character it is.”

Last week, Hudson released her book, “I Got This: How I Changed My Ways and Lost What Weighed Me Down.” The book touches on how she dealt with her weight issues throughout her career before she lost the extra pounds.

In it, Hudson – who is both a Grammy and Oscar winner – also talked about how she turned down the lead role in the 2009 film “Precious.” The role ended up going to Gabourey Sidibe, who was nominated for an Oscar for playing an obese 16-year-old girl who had an abusive mother, an incestuous father and faced extreme poverty.

“I felt it was too graphic for me at the time,” she said Wednesday. “It’s something I didn’t want to do at the time, but I would gain weight in a heartbeat. I have no issues with that at all.”

Hudson is a spokeswoman for Weight Watchers.

Prez croons at the Apollo

President Barack Obama took a brief and unexpected turn as a soul singer at a New York fundraiser, crooning a bar from an Al Green classic and then joking that he hadn’t been ushered offstage.

It happened at Manhattan’s Apollo Theater late Thursday, when Obama stepped to the podium and veered from prepared remarks to thank Green for warming up the crowd.

Apparently not content with simply praising him, Obama suddenly launched into Green’s “Let’s Stay Together,” starting with the vibrato “I” and pausing for enthusiastic applause before finishing up with the line “so in love with you.”

Obama said his staff didn’t believe he’d really do it.

Then he joked that the Sandman hadn’t come out – a reference to Sandman Sims, the tap dancer who chased unpopular acts offstage at the Apollo for decades.

The birthday bunch

Actress Ann Wedgeworth is 78. World Golf Hall of Famer Jack Nicklaus is 72. Opera singer Placido Domingo is 71. Singer Richie Havens is 71. Singer Mac Davis is 70. Actress Jill Eikenberry is 65. Singer-songwriter Billy Ocean is 62. Actor-director Robby Benson is 56. Actress Geena Davis is 56. Actress Karina Lombard is 43. Rock DJ Chris Kilmore (Incubus) is 39. Actor Vincent Laresca is 38. Singer Emma Bunton (Spice Girls) is 36.


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