With the movie Dreamgirls and Broadway’s The Color Purple on her résumé, the Oscar- and Grammy-winning former American Idol contestant, 35, returns to TV Dec. 7 to play Motormouth Maybelle, the owner of a Baltimore record store, in NBC’s musical holiday event Hairspray Live!
Hairspray was originally a 1980s movie musical, then a Broadway play and then another movie. Do its themes of inclusion and diversity make it very “today”?
I think so. Obviously, it’s a situation that is very present at the moment. I think it will have a very powerful impact and give the story that much more meaning.
You recently wrapped up The Color Purple on Broadway. Will you be nervous doing a live TV performance seen by millions more people?
Yes—I was terrified for opening night on Broadway, and that is far more intimate. And then, right on the heels of that, I’m going to go do a live stage production televised for the world to see. I don’t know what I’m thinking! But sometimes your passion has to be bigger than your fear.
Do you have a special holiday tradition?
My sister and I have our Julian D. King Gift Foundation. We give back to the needy kids in the Chicago area, so we spend time with them. There are a lot of stockings for them and Santa is involved. And then just spending time with family. I recently started a Starbucks karaoke party with a live band. Put on an ugly sweater, go to Starbucks, everybody gets their favorite drinks and snuggles up and we sing Christmas songs, karaokestyle. I have been doing that for the last couple of years.
Does she think blondes (like Hairspray’s Maybelle) have more fun? Go to Parade.com/hudson to find out.
Email your questions for Walter Scott to personal[email protected]rade.com