Jennifer Hudson Was 'Very Intimidated' By the Role of Winnie Mandela

The Oscar-winner confined herself to the prison set to prepare for the role.
4:44 | 09/05/13

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Transcript for Jennifer Hudson Was 'Very Intimidated' By the Role of Winnie Mandela
In "dream girls" jennifer hudson told us she is not going. And she certainly has not. Thank goodness. This year, she has three films coming out. The first is "winnie mandela," who opens on friday. Winnie mandela is the wife of nelson mandela. It chronicles her own struggle, including being kept in solitary confinement. First, a look at "winnie mandela." No talking. They have to be so wrong. I believe my eyes can see. As long as this gives life to me. Silence. Reporter: A powerful role. And a powerful movie. So happy to have oscar and grammy-winner, jennifer hudson. Thank you. This morning. I'm telling you. I watched it and I realize that you, a little method acting for her. That was a scene. She was confined for 500 days, solitary confinement. And you confined yourself to the prison set to get that going. What was it like for you? It was draining and emotional. I wouldn't help but think of winnie and the fact she really went through that. I wanted to have it back-to-back. I could feel as closely to whatever she may have felt in 300 to 500 days. Four days is no comparison at all. I was overwhelmed. And for her to be missing her children, not knowing if they're alive. Not knowing if someone's taken them or if they're being taken care of. Not knowing if it's day or night. All of that. And I think people forget that she really kept her husband, at the time, his message of hope alive. Exactly. When we were hearing from him, we were hearing from her. Many people feel like they know her. And to play somebody in real life like this, a little different for you. So, what was that like? I was very intimidated because she's such an iconic figure. Once I got to africa and I was like, she's a treasure. How dear she is and was to so many. Like, oh, my god, I have to take this seriously. If I'm not going to hop in 100%, I should go home. I had that moment, can I handle this? And if I do it, it has to be all-in. I respect the fact that you take all angles. She is beloved but also controversial. And you don't shy away from that in the film. It's the complete picture of who she is. This is one of three films. What do you learn each time? I don't believe in boxes or limits. I love trying new things. And I love a challenge. Each project is very different. They're all dear to me in a different kind of way, which endear me to move the project. They are -- "13" is coming out. And there's another musical, which will be out in november. And speaking of the musical, you have new music coming out. A single coming out and working on the album. I was in the studio yesterday. I feel like I'm on triple duty. It's quite busy. But I'm loving the process. I'm writing in the studio. Getting my feet wet as a real artist and not just a vocalist. We want to show a picture. It's throwback thursday here on "good morning america." Jennifer hudson, this is your life. This is the audition for "american idol." That's almost like ten years ago. I was 22. I'll be -- oh, lord. I'll be 32 in a week. I know. ON THE 12th. When you look at that picture, what do you think about? When I look back there, i still can't believe how far I've come. I was a dreamer. I still am a dreamer. And to be able to achieve my dreams and so much more. It's like, it's very for real. That's me? That is you. Those are the reminders that's like, wow. I'm still the same girl. Yes, you are. You are still that girl. Happy early birthday next week. You're always good to us. And continued blessings in all that you do. Jennifer hudson, ladies and

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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