*Jennifer Hudson says she prepared for her role as Nelson Mandela’s ex-wife Winnie in an upcoming biopic by confining herself to an African prison cell for five days after learning Winnie served more than 500 days in solitary confinement.
“(I attempted to) experience some of the hell that woman went through,” she tells the Daily Beast. “They snatched her out of her home and she had no idea what happened to her children. Imagine living that? This was her life! This was real.
“As a woman, I am angry for her, hurting for her. And as a mom? God, being in solitary confinement, away from my son just for five days when shooting those scenes – it was too much for me. I was drained and stripped down. I was changed.”
As previously reported, the Oscar-winner plays the title role in filmmaker Darrell Roodt’s new “Winnie” biopic, which documents her life, her fight against apartheid and her marriage to the former South African president.