An actor’s union group in South Africa is protesting the casting of Jennifer Hudson as Winnie Mandela, ex-wife of former South African president Nelson Mandela. The Creative Workers Union of South Africa says that using foreign actors to tell South Africa’s stories undermines efforts to develop the national film industry.
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Jennifer Hudson has landed the title role in “Winnie,” a new film by Darrell J. Roodt, the veteran South African filmmaker, based on the life of Winnie Mandela, wife of South Africa’s first black president, Nelson Mandela according to Variety.
The film begins shooting on May 30th in the South African towns of Johannesburg, Cape Town, Transkei, and Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela spent 18 years of his prison sentence.
“I was compelled and moved when I read the script,” Hudson said. “Winnie Mandela is a complex and extraordinary woman and I’m honored to be the actress asked to portray her. This is a powerful part of history that should be told.”