By Josephine Cusumano
Updated Sep 06, 2013 @ 5:15 pm
Jennifer Hudson and Terrence Howard in Winnie Mandela
Credit: Winnie Mandela Film/Facebook

"The message in it is such a huge part of history," Jennifer Hudson explained exclusively to about her new movie Winnie Mandela out in theaters nationwide today. The film about Nelson Mandela's (played by Terrence Howard) wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela first screened two years ago at the Toronto Film Festival but just opened in theaters now, and it couldn't be more of a perfect time: We celebrated the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King's 'I Have a Dream' speech just last week. "We never knew her story," Hudson said. "When I picked up the script and learned of her contribution to the struggle and to Africa, I thought to myself, ‘Why am I just finding out about this now? Why are we finding out now?’ I wanted to put her story out there." In preparation for the role, Hudson spent four months in South Africa where she immersed herself in the rich culture and during filming, she made sure to keep the fashion as authentic to South Africa as possible. "Everything they wore had a meaning to it, it had a message and a story to be told through the attire, which made [Winnie's] looks more meaningful." Could this be another Academy Award winning performance? We hope so! Catch Winnie Mandela in theaters now.

Plus, see Jennifer Hudson's best looks ever!