Jennifer Hudson to play Winnie Mandela: report

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The Independent Culture

Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Hudson is to play Winnie Mandela in a film charting the turbulent life and times of the ex-wife of South Africa's first black president, it was reported Wednesday.

Hudson, who scooped a best supporting actress Oscar in 2007 for her performance in the musical "Dreamgirls", told Daily Variety the film would bring a "powerful part of history" to cinema screens.

"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 to portray her. This is a powerful part of history that should be told."

The film will be directed by South African film-maker Darrell J. Roodt, whose films include "Cry, The Beloved Country" and "Sarafina."

News of the film comes as Hollywood prepares to release "Invictus" a Clint Eastwood-directed drama about Nelson Mandela, to be played by Morgan Freeman, and how the 1995 Rugby World Cup united the country after apartheid.

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela campaigned tirelessly for her husband's release during his 27-year imprisonment in the apartheid era.

However her image was tarnished by a series of scandals including her links to the kidnap and murder of a young activist and a 2003 conviction for fraud.

She separated from Nelson Mandela in 1992, three years after his release.

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