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Jennifer Holliday: "I'm Not Going"

Jennifer Holliday, who originated the Dreamgirls role of Effie on Broadway, wants to make sure that despite the raves for that other Jennifer H., she isn't put out to pasture just yet.

JholShe appeared on Wendy Williams' radio show recently and went on and on about the injustices she's experiencing this holiday season, which include being left off the invite list for the Dreamgirls premiere:

"Actually I was sort of invited to the premiere tonight and then I got called and said that it was a misunderstanding and that I wasn't invited to the premiere, but that it was an actual screening that I was invited to but they didn't have a date for that screening."

She went on:

"I'm also still a young woman still out here trying to work so if you're trying to cancel out my existence and my contribution to then if you're trying to do that then what is to become of me, are you trying to say that two people can't be out here singing the same song? It's like, I'm not a millionaire and I don't have any kind of precious possessions, no children, this legacy, "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" is the only thing I do have and I do need to work so it's alright if they have a movie so can't they just have me be wonderful too? Can't both of us just be wonderful? My thing is, please don't try to kick me to the curb."

JhudAnd on:

"One guy who's working on the music with the movie... he was saying, well, Jennifer Hudson has an absolutely wonderful gift and I think the torch has been effectively passed... I'm not passin no torch, 'scuse me, are you all trying to force me into retirement? Because..I still need to work so if we both sing...can she sing it..and I sing it..can we both sing it?"

And on:

"Give a Dreamgirl a break, I did give the girl the opportunity to do this... I created the role, no one gave me the role, I created the role."

And on:

"This story of Dreamgirls, we also want people to understand, is not the same as the play, what they've done is taken the brand of Dreamgirls and our fans and done a bait-and-switch."

And on:

"Fortunately for me, I owe most of my survival, towards going into this new millenium, to the gay community. They have kept me, they have supported me, they have given me work, they have given me great respect. They also are really the ones who kept this whole thing going until it could be rediscovered."

Wait till Holliday hears that Hudson will be performing to a huge gay crowd in NYC on December 30th.

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Dreamgirls: A Review — In a Dazzling Adaptation, Jennifer Hudson Rockets to Fame

(source, thanks Seth)

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  1. Give a dreamgirl a break, lol. I still watch her performance on you tube, it's da bomb.

    Posted by: gay is the new straight | Dec 6, 2006 3:29:17 PM

  2. I just love the smarmy context this is put in. She goes "on and on." Yeah, like some people go on and on about Gyllenhaal and Reichen's every bowel movement. Her voice was good enough for the trailer, but she can't go to the premiere? Bullshit.

    Posted by: 000000 | Dec 6, 2006 3:36:22 PM

  3. This is too bad. She is an amazingly talented performer--despite being difficult.

    Posted by: Daniel | Dec 6, 2006 3:43:58 PM

  4. There's room in our hearts for more than one Diva. The Jennifers has nothing to worry about with the gays. If you were going to compare the two based on "I Am Telling You" then Ms. Holliday would clean the floor with Ms. Hudson. But they are both so much bigger than this one song.

    Posted by: Mike | Dec 6, 2006 3:56:49 PM

  5. "I'm not passin no torch, 'scuse me, are you all trying to force me into retirement?"

    Laughed. My. Ass. Off.

    Musicals aren't my thing, but even I can see it's a travesty to deny a legend like Holliday a simple pass to the premiere.. that's pretty low.

    Posted by: mark m | Dec 6, 2006 3:59:32 PM

  6. Interesting editorial use of Holliday's image, Andy...I'm left wondering if there's a less-flattering one you could have found!

    'Though she could have used a publicist to smooth over the jealous overtones, I do value Holliday's opinion. You'd think being a gay icon all these years, she'd be a bit more aware of how youth-obsessed the gays are; it was just a matter of time before a younger, prettier Effie came around and sold it to the gays.

    Posted by: midnight lounge | Dec 6, 2006 3:59:47 PM

  7. Ms Holiday, Miss Hudson isn’t qualified to wash out your undies.

    You're the best woman we'll ever know.
    There's no way we can ever go,
    No, no, no, no way,
    No, no, no, no way we’re livin' without you.
    We’re not livin' without you.
    We don't want to be free.

    We're part of the same place.
    We're part of the same time.
    We both share the same blood.
    We both have the same mind.
    And time and time we have so much to share,

    Posted by: ggreen | Dec 6, 2006 4:04:47 PM

  8. Well I saw Jennifer Holliday in the original Broadway production, and I just saw the movie last week at a Parmount screening, and Jennifer Hudson does a great job with the part that Ms. Holliday created. But where has Ms. Holliday been for the last 25 yers? Her career didn't take off after winning the Tony. And that is not Ms. Hudosn' fault, it is Ms. Holliday's. Lots of sour grapes going on now!

    Posted by: whatever | Dec 6, 2006 4:12:45 PM

  9. "You'd think being a gay icon all these years, she'd be a bit more aware of how youth-obsessed the gays are; it was just a matter of time before a younger, prettier Effie came around and sold it to the gays."

    Well, Holliday never suggested that she play Effie in the film. It's obviously a part for a younger woman. But to not even get a proper invite to the premiere? On stage or screen, the production owes it's following to her. Gays aren't the ones denying her connection to the show, either. She told Wendy Williams about how the gay community has kept her afloat for years, ad nauseum.

    Posted by: 000000 | Dec 6, 2006 4:13:25 PM

  10. I'm glad to see that I'm not to detect some unnecessary snarkiness from Andy.

    I'm guessing Andy's not a fan.

    Posted by: Astro | Dec 6, 2006 4:14:54 PM

  11. I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one to detect some unnecessary snarkiness from Andy.

    I'm guessing Andy's not a fan.

    Posted by: Astro | Dec 6, 2006 4:16:03 PM

  12. Jennifer HoliWho?

    Posted by: Richard Crawford | Dec 6, 2006 4:16:18 PM

  13. "But where has Ms. Holliday been for the last 25 yers? Her career didn't take off after winning the Tony. And that is not Ms. Hudosn' fault, it is Ms. Holliday's."

    Yeah, Jennifer sure squandered all the opportunities the affirmative action of show business was throwing at Black women in the 80s. Why didn't she just take control like Janet Jackson and keep her mouth shut?

    Posted by: 000000 | Dec 6, 2006 4:17:27 PM

  14. Bitter much? It sounds like she's living in the past and blaming everyone around her for not having a hot career. Yes, she was amazing in the original, but that was 25 years ago and most people don't even know who she is today. As for the attitude, it's not hard to understand why she wasn't invited. Karma baby... it'll get you every time!

    Posted by: Wayne | Dec 6, 2006 4:17:51 PM

  15. Its Apples and Oranges (albeit BIG apples and oranges, like the size you get at Christmas time)

    25 years have passed since I saw J-Haul sing and the spine stills tingles.

    The version by J-Hud didn't do the same, but it was still very good.

    But what the heck, there's room in fruit bowl for both!

    Posted by: Mark | Dec 6, 2006 4:20:50 PM

  16. 000000,

    Thank you! Why take aim Ms. Holliday? What did she that was so reprehensible? What did she demand? She just wanted to be treated with respect. Other Hollywood remakes have invited stars of the original films or plays on which they are based to premieres.

    As 000000 pointed out, the 1980s and 1990s were not great times to be an actress of color except for a very small number. Eighty-percent of all Hollywood films feature all-white casts according to a new study. That doesn't leave much room for people of color in the remainder of films.

    As Ms. Holliday said, she is a young woman still and someone who embraces the gay community. Give her the same respect she gives you.

    Posted by: noah | Dec 6, 2006 4:26:15 PM

  17. When an actor "creates" a role on stage, it only means they were the first to play the part. Ms. Holliday did not write the musical Dreamgirls, she only acted in it. She didn't create the charecter in the play, the writers did. And having seen the movie and the Broadway production, she is totally full of shit about the story. It is exactly the same story, except they added one new song for Beyonce to sing. Ms. Holliday is being really stupid in this interview.

    Posted by: jealous bitch | Dec 6, 2006 4:28:48 PM

  18. A couple of names come to mind:
    Julie Andrews, Ethel Merman (twice), Chita Rivera, Gwen Verdon, Carol Channing, Mary Martin, Algela Lansbery
    All were replaced by other actresses in the movie versions of the Broadway Show in which they "created" the character.
    Recpectively My fair Lady went to Audry Hepburn/Marnie Nixon, Annie Get Your Gun went to Doris Day and Gypsy went to Rosalind Russell, Chicago went to Ketherine Zeta Jones, Sweet Charity went to Shirley McClaine, The Sound of Music went to Julie Andrews, and Mame also went to rosalind Russell and Lucille Ball (UGH).
    The difference between all these ladies and Jennifer Holiday is talent.
    Jennifer Holiday is a one hit wonder. And the sooner she realizes that the happier she will be with her place in history.

    Posted by: Richard Crawford | Dec 6, 2006 4:35:18 PM

  19. Funny, the original cast of A Chorus Line went so far as to consider getting royalties for the recent revival. Jennifer Holliday isn't even suggesting such a thing, and her real intentions are bastardized by people who take a kernel of the truth and bitch for bitching's sake.

    Posted by: 000000 | Dec 6, 2006 4:41:03 PM

  20. Jennifer Holliday is the more soulful singer. Period.

    Really shitty of Geffen to bar her from the screening. What a little twat he's becoming.

    As for the movie, which I saw, it's "okay." Feels claustrophobic at times, like the director can't let go of that big proscenium arch that hangs like an albatross around his neck (similar to "Chicago," in that sense). "Cinematic," in this movie, means absurdly fast cuts - and without any design to them. Why, oh, why can't movie directors these days make musicals that don't feel so stage-bound? It all felt so cold and calculated - the opposite of the stage production, btw.

    Posted by: jjabely | Dec 6, 2006 4:41:07 PM

  21. Holliday isn't railing at Hudson, but at the business, obviously...

    Jennifer Holliday did do some very funny acting and singing on "Ally MacBeal" some years back, but needs a better agent. Especially with the lack of roles for black women in Hollywood.

    In any case, don't mean to overpost from another publication but here's what Hudson said about Jennifer Holliday in HX, and clearly, she's not trying to kick J.Hol to the curb at all. Quite the contrary.

    Jennifer Holliday left some big heels to fill. Were you nervous stepping into the role of Effie?
    - Of course! I mean, c’mon, it’s Jennifer Holliday! She’s so amazing - her voice is like thunder. I’m just honored to be the one who gets to do it. It’s like, well, what does that say about me? I wouldn’t be here if I couldn’t do the part.

    Did you know Dreamgirls before you auditioned?
    - Not the complete soundtrack, just Jennifer Holliday’s music from her albums. The only songs I knew from Dreamgirls were “And I Am Telling You” and “I’m Changing,” but I thought those were just her songs.

    Have you met Miss Holliday yet?
    - No, but I can’t wait. When I do, I’m going to pass out. I will, honey. Pick me up off the floor.

    She became a huge gay icon playing Effie. Are you ready for that status?
    - Well, I’ve been prepping for it for a long time with Idol and even before. I love it. I think the world of the gay community, and I feel like it’s an honor. The gay community is the hardest community to please, so if they love me, I must be fierce, honey.

    Posted by: bamabamabam | Dec 6, 2006 4:46:18 PM

  22. Broadway stardom is for whatever reason a very tricky thing to migrate to other channels in showbiz. There are numerous examples of performers whose Brodway success--no matter how meteoric--just didn't translate into highly successful recording, TV or film careers. There even seem to be more particular examples of women who had a huge breakout show song--Yvonne Elliman and Stephanie Mills come to mind--who, after maybe a dance chart hit or two, just disappeared. I feel for Holliday, it's terribly hard to experience such success and attention so early in one's career and to never quite reach that zenith again, but she really ought to say a prayer, count her blessings, and let it go. Personally, I think her incredible weight loss--and having kept it off for so long--is a helluva triumph. There are a lot more people in this world who would rather emulate that success of hers than any others.

    Posted by: Rascal | Dec 6, 2006 4:50:14 PM

  23. Fuck you, Jealous Bitch! What have you done to call Holiday stupid? Show some respect—and less stupidity yourself. However great the original material can be, it can be forgotten or immortalized by the performer who brings it to life. Would Brokeback have been as memorable with someone playing Ennis other than Ledger? Vin Diesel maybe? People raved about the short story, but even the author said Ledger's Ennis was better than hers.

    The explanation of which careers take off and which ones don't is often inexplicable. [Vin Deisel again. BUT, one major factor is that the kind of music Holiday is best at has sold very little in that period of time thanks to the rise, like shit in a backed up toilet, of rap/hip hop or dance music you have to be on crystal to enjoy. Mariah "Please Enlarge My Breasts Yet Again" Carey has had a career but she's not a belter like Holiday. Whitney is, but she's spent more time in her mansion doing crack than in the recording studio.

    Stardom and record sales are no indication of talent. Britney should be working at the local Dairy Queen, not a millionairess [did ya hear the one about Tom Jones throwing underwear AT HER?]. Jessica Simpson? Shoot her, her horse mouth, and her creepy, religious nut, incest-dreaming dad.

    Holiday earned the right to expect a little respect, which she clearly wasn't getting.

    Posted by: Leland | Dec 6, 2006 4:52:42 PM

  24. Holiday has been working--doing concerts, TV (Ally McBeal) etc. She's amazing live. At a benefit concert in LA she did "Wind Beneath My Wings", a song I absolutely hate and wish had never been written (sorry Miss M), yet she made me love it. I love Hudson as well, she's a great young talent, it's too bad this had to happen.

    Posted by: Daniel | Dec 6, 2006 5:08:08 PM

  25. I hate musicals so I have never seen Dreamgirls. Nor will I attend the film. But, even my musical hating gay ass associates Jennifer Holiday with Dreamgirls. She need not worry about her legacy - even if it involves this one thing.

    Posted by: Marco | Dec 6, 2006 5:08:14 PM

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