Broadway has been buzzing that one of our own, five-time Tony winner Audra McDonald, may make the leap to the big screen as Aretha Franklin in a new bio pic about the Queen of Soul. Broadway.com caught up with McDonald recently to get her reaction to this exciting casting rumor.
“It would be an honor to play her,” McDonald told us. “Other than that we leave it to fate. Who knows.”
Directors Guild of America president and Oscar winner Taylor Hackford (Ray, An Officer and a Gentleman) is set to direct the upcoming film about Franklin’s life and career. According to reports, the coveted starring role is between McDonald and Dreamgirls Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson.
At age 18, Franklin released her first single for Columbia Records in September 1960. Best known for hits like “Respect,” “I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You),” “Baby I Love You” and “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” Franklin is the first female artist to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The legendary singer is the winner of 18 Grammy Awards and two honorary Grammys.
McDonald won Tony Awards for Porgy and Bess, Carousel, Ragtime, A Raisin in the Sun and Master Class. She also won a 2004 Broadway.com Audience Choice Award for Favorite Actress in a Play for A Raisin in the Sun.