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Though some attach her confidence to her recent 88-lb weight loss, we know that Jennifer Hudson always had attitude and beauty to boot. The mother of one taps into her sassy side for a colorful photo shoot for Daily Mail.

With her hair in a sleek high ponytail, she wears quirky and feminine looks like an A-line dress with a green headpiece and a multicolor frock with a red hat.

Inside, she discusses her meteoric rise to stardom which took her from a contestant on American Idol to a Grammy and Academy-Award winning star, her role as Winnie Mandela and her son, David Jr.

On getting voted off American Idol…

“Don’t block your blessings. Don’t let doubt stop you from getting where you want to be.” Those were the lessons that I took from American Idol,’ says Jennifer. ‘“OK, from now on I refuse to let anyone interrupt the vision I have for myself.”

On Dreamgirls…

‘I was like, “Beyoncé, I’m your biggest fan. You’ve no idea how much I love you. And Jamie, I love you too. But right now, it’s my turn. I’ve got to get on and do my job here.” We’re all just people at the end of the day. They had to start somewhere and Dreamgirls was my start. You bet I grabbed the opportunity.’

On her son…

‘He’s very much his own person, a little performer who loves to sing and dance,’ she says. ‘He’s so charming, too. Yes, I’m biased, but I’ve never seen a child with such presence. He says “hi” or “bye bye” to everyone when he comes in or out of a room, and goes round blowing kisses to everyone. My phone is completely backed up from videoing everything he does, because he surprises me constantly.

On playing Winnie Mandela…

‘This is someone who’s been a hugely important figure in a country where, generally speaking, women’s voices aren’t heard. Everyone knows Nelson’s story but far fewer of us know Winnie’s.’

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