"Black Nativity" star Jennifer Hudson on hip-hop holiday musical

With the yuletide season comes holiday-themed films, and this year is no exception.

One of the more prominent Christmastime releases is "Black Nativity," a hip-hop musical based on Harlem literary figure Langston Hughes' classic play.

Forest Whitaker and Angela Bassett star as the estranged grandparents of teenager Langston, played by recording artist and actor Jacob Latimore. Langston stays alone with his grandparents for the first time at their house in Harlem, and considers selling off one of their prized possessions to help his single mother, Naima, played by recent Hollywood Walk of Fame star recipient Jennifer Hudson.

Mary J. Blige, rapper Nas and Tyrese Gibson also star.

The cast was joined by their director Kasi Lemmons (herself an actress who has appeared in "Silence of the Lambs" and "Candyman") for the film's premiere Monday night at The Apollo Theater in Harlem, N.Y., where Hudson told CBSNews.com that she initially turned down her role on at least several occasions before finally saying yes to the project.

"Once I looked into everything in depth and saw what the story meant, it drew me in," Hudson said. "It's such a beautiful film, it really is."

The 32-year-old Oscar-winner said she saw parallels between her character in "Black Nativity" and Gloria, her other recent film role, in "The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete." In both films, Hudson plays a troubled single mother living in poverty and unable to provide for her son, who tries to help with their financial situation. But there is one major difference.

"Naima's a good mother. Gloria, not so much," Hudson pointed out. "But they're both single mothers."

"This is something that's realistic and happens every day. There are single parents out there that are struggling to make end's meat. And there's kids that fall in to bad decisions because they're trying to help their parents. That's one of the things I loved about ['Black Nativity'], that it taps into the reality for some."

Watch the video above to see Hudson's co-stars, including Whitaker and Bassett, at the Apollo premiere.

"Black Nativity" opens in theaters on Nov. 27.

  • Ken Lombardi On Twitter» On Facebook»

    Ken Lombardi is an entertainment reporter for CBS News. He has interviewed over 300 celebrities, including Clint Eastwood, Oprah Winfrey and Tom Hanks.

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