JEN­NIFER ‘I’m so much tougher now’

The new­est fe­male coach on The Voice is here to speak her mind and find some se­ri­ous tal­ent - oh, and she loves the UK so much she might even stay here...

Look (UK) - - NEWS STORY -

Sit­ting in front of us and look­ing ev­ery inch the A-lis­ter, it’s easy to for­get that Jen­nifer Hud­son started her singing ca­reer as a run­ner-up on 2004’s Amer­i­can Idol. Yep, she didn’t even win. But did that stop her? Hell no. Be­ing cast in the film Dream­girls along­side Bey­oncé just two years later, Jen picked up an Os­car for Best Sup­port­ing Ac­tress, then re­leased three best-sell­ing al­bums. We’re still lov­ing her James Cor­den Car­pool Karaoke and now the 35-year-old is on Satur­day night TV in the UK as a coach on The Voice – which is why we’re here to­day. In per­son, she’s as funny, enig­matic and yes, that word again, ‘fierce’, as we would have hoped. Watch out guys, Jen means busi­ness…

How much are you lov­ing be­ing on the show? I’m re­ally en­joy­ing this ex­pe­ri­ence, work­ing with th­ese guys and also be­ing on the other side. You know, it’s still so fresh in my mind when I was a con­tes­tant try­ing to get there and I re-live that mo­ment. It sends me right back into that space. But I feel em­pow­ered be­cause I feel like I can help them get there. Do you feel ner­vous film­ing the show? I walked into it blindly, so I was dis­cov­er­ing it as we went along and that’s still hap­pen­ing. I think it helped be­cause it showed my real, hon­est re­ac­tions to ev­ery­thing. How do you think the jour­ney for con­tes­tants on The Voice com­pares to your Amer­i­can Idol jour­ney? This process is so much quicker – it leaps from phase to phase so quickly. I used to call it the ‘Amer­i­can Idol roller­coaster’ that I could never get off be­cause it was just go­ing round and round. It seems much more pos­i­tive than Amer­i­can Idol and The X Fac­tor, where you’ve got Si­mon Cow­ell… I agree with that, but I feel like what Si­mon brings to the ta­ble is that he’s pre­par­ing you for the in­dus­try. I feel like that could be nec­es­sary to have a taste of what [con­tes­tants] are re­ally try­ing to get into and that’s when you learn if you re­ally have a tough enough skin for it. I thought: ‘It’s gonna ei­ther make me or break me.’ Do you think you’re tougher now? Oh def­i­nitely, yes. I re­mem­ber start­ing out, they used to tell us: ‘Don’t read that, don’t look at that,’ and ev­ery once in a while I re­mind my­self of that. I’ve banned my­self from Twit­ter – I don’t even go on there any more. You know what to avoid, you know how to han­dle your­self. Are you a hands-on men­tor? Oh yes, def­i­nitely. And I don’t mind shar­ing – like, they can ask me any­thing. You’re proof that win­ning isn’t ev­ery­thing. What would be your ad­vice for peo­ple who don’t make it to the top spot? I’m a be­liever in tak­ing ad­van­tage of the op­por­tu­nity you’ve been given be­cause go­ing into a show like this, you kind of take it for granted in a way. The show is de­signed so you have man­age­ment, PR and the plat­form, so you get used to ev­ery­one do­ing it for you. I used to say: ‘OK, only one of us is go­ing to win this, so how do I stay afloat af­ter all of this goes away?’ It’s a mat­ter of util­is­ing that plat­form and learn­ing ev­ery­thing you can so you can carry on and get to your dream. No one is go­ing to chase your dream for you and that’s some­thing to keep in mind. This is the type of thing that you can­not do un­less you’re pas­sion­ate about it. ‘Oh, they told me no,’ and go home. No, you say: ‘I still have that gift, I still have that tal­ent – just be­cause you said no doesn’t mean it’s not gonna hap­pen.’ You keep go­ing af­ter it and not just give up be­cause The Voice said you can’t do it. That’s the wrong mind­set. How would you de­scribe your re­la­tion­ship with Will.i.am? You seem to have a lot of fun to­gether… I get a kick out of Will. He’s very clever and he’s very ex­pe­ri­enced and I like to learn so I’m al­ways watch­ing him and think­ing: ‘What’s he gonna say? What does that mean?’ He keeps it in­ter­est­ing and fun. Af­ter this, what have you got com­ing up this year? I’m gonna get started on my fourth al­bum and I’ve just fin­ished a film with Adam San­dler that’s cen­tred around mu­sic, which will be out in spring. Are you en­joy­ing the UK? I love it – it’s so peace­ful and every­body’s so sweet. Is a move to the UK on the cards? Yes. I would love that – no, se­ri­ously! The Voice is on ev­ery ITV at 8pm on Satur­days

No one is go­ing to chase your dream for you

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