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Gun violence is, unfortunately, an issue that Jennifer Hudson knows all too well.

The singer and actress – who stars in the new film Chi-raq, which is about gang violence in Chicago – recently opened up to W magazine about working on a movie with a subject that hits close to home: The Chicago native’s mother, brother and nephew were shot and killed in 2008.

“This is reality for me. This is my life. A part of my life,” Hudson, 34, said, adding that when director Spike Lee asked her to join the cast “I definitely had that moment of like, ‘Are you serious?’ ”

She continued, “But when I really thought about it, I understood why he came to me and I thought, ‘You know what? It’s worth me telling my story so that hopefully no one else has a story like this to tell.’ The film we’re doing is trying to save my city. … So for that reason I was like, ‘Okay, I get it, it’s worth doing.’ ”

But, Hudson says, “I don’t think it’s anything I will ever, ever revisit again.”


ENTERTAINMENT: Jennifer Hudson Speaks Out on Gun Violence: ‘This Is My Reality’  was originally published on