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Jennifer Hudson Loses 56 Lbs. to Play Winnie Mandela

Jennifer HudsonSinger/actress Jennifer Hudson has lost 56 lbs. for an upcoming film role, according to reports.

The American Idol star and Oscar winner is set to play Nelson Mandela‘s former wife, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela in a biopic entitled ‘Winnie,’ which is scheduled to shoot in May.

In order to shed the weight, Hudson worked with celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak, who has worked with everyone from Jessica Simpson to Kanye West. “I’ve been exercising and trying to stay consistent,” Hudson explained of her weight loss. “I’m jogging and eating right.”

The film is scheduled to be directed by South African filmmaker Darrell J. Roodt, shooting in various South African locations where Winnie’s former husband, Nelson Mandela was imprisoned, before being elected the country’s president.

Hudson received some flak from the South African media about being chosen over a South African actress for the role. Winnie Mandela is reportedly unhappy about the film as well, and has criticized the filmmakers for failing to consult her on her own biopic.

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