The movie Respect, a biographical musical drama, premiered in 2021 to primarily positive acclaim. The movie was directed by Liesl Tommy, who previously worked on projects like Eclipsed, and was written by screenwriter Tracey Scott Wilson. Respect depicts the problematic life of legendary songstress Aretha Franklin, whose rise to fame and fortune was complicated by her harsh personal life.
Critiques of the film had been generally positive, with most people praising the film’s direction and its casting. A review by the Sydney Morning Herald wrote: “The film soars whenever the music takes over, as it does for large chunks of the action. But the backstage story is less exhilarating. Franklin had a life as big as her personality.” Aside from people’s general interest in Aretha Franklin’s colorful life, audiences were also drawn to the film’s casting, which saw some of the most prominent actors in Hollywood portraying real-life characters on screen. If you want to learn more about the Respect cast, read ahead. Here are the cast members of the 2021 biographical drama film Respect.
Jennifer Hudson portrayed Aretha Franklin in the 2021 biopic Respect. Hudson is an American actress and singer who has appeared in several films and television shows. Perhaps her most famous role was as Effie White in the 2006 film adaptation of the musical Dreamgirls. She also appeared as a coach on the reality television show The Voice. More recently, she starred in the 2017 comedy film Sandy Wexler. Hudson has also released several studio albums, including her self-titled debut album, which reached the peaks of the US Billboard 200 chart. She has won multiple awards for her work, including an Academy Award for Dreamgirls, a Golden Globe Award, and a Grammy Award.
Forest Whitaker played the role of Reverend C.L. Franklin, the pastor father of Aretha Franklin, in Respect. Whitaker is an actor, director, and producer who has enjoyed a long and successful career in Hollywood. He is perhaps best known for his role as Charlie Parker in the 1988 movie Bird, for which he won numerous accolades. Whitaker has also appeared in such films as The Crying Game, Platoon, Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai, and Lee Daniels’ The Butler. In addition to his work in front of the camera, Whitaker has also appeared in episodes of such TV shows as Empire, Godfather of Harlem, and Young Rock. He is currently set to star in an upcoming anthology series titled Extrapolations.
Marlon Wayans played Ted White, the abusive husband, and manager of Aretha, in Respect. Most people would recognize Wayans as a comedic actor, having starred in the classic comedy flick White Chicks. Some of his movie credits include Scary Movie 2, Little Man, and Dance Flick. More recently, he appeared in spoof films like Fifty Shades of Black and Naked.
Audra McDonald played Barbara Siggers Franklin, Aretha’s mother, in Respect. McDonald is one of the most acclaimed actresses of her generation. A six-time Tony Award winner, she is the only performer to have won all four acting categories. McDonald’s has also won Grammy Awards and an Emmy Award. In addition to her work on stage and screen, McDonald is a successful concert singer and has released several solo albums.
Marc Maron portrayed famed music producer Gerald Wexler in Respect. Maron is an American stand-up comedian, actor, writer, producer, and podcaster. He first became a frequent guest on the late-night talk show Late Night with Conan O’Brien. In 2009, he launched the podcast WTF with Marc Maron, which features in-depth interviews with fellow comedians and entertainers. Maron has also appeared in several films and television shows, including Louie, GLOW, and Easy. Offstage, Maron is known for his candid and often confessional interviewing style and his love of cats.
Titus Burgess played gospel singer James Cleveland in Respect. Burgess is best known for his role as Titus Andromedon on the Netflix comedy series Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, which starred Ellie Kemper. He has also appeared on Broadway in The Little Mermaid, Guys and Dolls, and Jersey Boys. Burgess was born and raised in Athens, Georgia. After receiving a degree in musical theater from the University of Georgia, he moved to New York City to pursue his dream of performing on Broadway. His hard work paid off, and he soon made his Broadway debut in 2003. Since then, Burgess has appeared in several stage and screen productions. In addition to his work on Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, he has also performed on 30 Rock and Central Park. Throughout his career, Burgess has received critical acclaim for his exceptional talent as an actor and singer.
Other cast members
Other actors in Respect include Saycon Sengbloh, Hailey Kilgore, Tate Donovan, Mary J. Blige, Kelvin Hair, Heather Headley, Lodric D. Collins, Gilbert Glenn Brown, and Brenda Nicole Moorer.Late Night with Conan O’Brien
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