Anika Noni Rose on Singing the National Anthem Despite Having an ‘Issue’ with It
November 23, 2022
Anika Noni Rose wants America to live up to the words of its national anthem.
On Wednesday’s episode of “The Jennifer Hudson Show,” the “Let the Right One In” actress told Jennifer about singing the national anthem at the 2022 U.S. Open — which was also Serena William’s last competition.
“It was so awesome. It was very interesting,” Anika said.
However, Anika admitted that she hadn’t sung the national anthem in years because “I had an issue with it.”
“I don’t know if our country has been living up to those words for me. Are we the land of the free, home of the brave? Where woman don’t have autonomy over their bodies?” she said, referencing the reversal of Roe v. Wade.
When she sang the song, she said she used it as an opportunity to ask our country, “Are we being who we want to be?”
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Anika hopes that our country will “get to a point where we live up to those words.”
Check out more highlights from her interview, below.
Anika on Her ‘Dreamgirls’ Memories
During the episode, Anika and Jenner reminisced about filming “Dreamgirls,” which earned JHud an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.
When Jennifer asked Anika about her memories from the film, she brought up the moment when she, Jennifer, and co-star Beyoncé first sang together.
“A blend is not something you can create,” Anika said about their harmonies. “It’s either there or it’s not there. And it was fantastic.”
Though Jennifer said she doesn’t have a lot of footage from the rehearsals, Anika confirmed that she has “tapes.”
“Girl, I’ll go buy a tape recorder. If you send [the tapes] to me,” Jennifer hilariously responded.
Check out more highlights from Anika’s interview, below.
Anika on the ‘Dreamgirls’ All Being Virgos
During the interview, Anika and Jennifer brought up the fun fact that they, along with Bey, are Virgos.
While Bey was born on September 4, Anika was born on September 6, and Jennifer was born on September 12.
“Understand that perfection was striven for on that set,” Anika said about the Virgo personality.
Jennifer said Bey also noted that the three women all had a mole on the exact same spot.
Anika on Attending an HBCU
Anika told Jennifer that she studied theater at Florida A&M University, a historically Black university in Tallahassee, Florida.
Anika’s grandmother and aunts attended the college as well.
Anika said it was important for her to attend an HBCU because she knew “it would probably be the only time in my life that I would be surrounded by young Black people with the goal of knowledge and upward movement.”
“I knew I would be supported than I would have somewhere else,” she added.
Looking back, Anika said her education at the institution was “something special.”
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Anika on Being Disney’s First Black Princess
In 2009, Anika voiced the character of Tiana in “The Princess and the Frog,” making her Disney’s first Black princess.
When Jennifer asked Anika what this milestone meant to her, she said, “It is still one of the most amazing things.”
“Princess Tiana will be there long after I’m gone [and] will be a part of Americana,” she continued.
Anika said the film taught young Black and Brown girls that they could also be princesses “and there’s no question about that.”
“It’s a different time,” Anika added.
Anika on Whether She Considers Herself a Singer or an Actress
During the chat, Jennifer praised Anika’s vocals in the “Dreamgirls” song, “Patience.”
“She’s a true soprano right here,” JHud said.
But when Jennifer asked Anika if she considers herself a singer or an actress, she said, “That is so difficult!”
“I feel they’re intertwined,” she explained. “They’re a part of me.”
However, Anika said, “I don’t act in the house, but I do sing in the house. So, it’s something that fills my spirit and something that happens whether I think about it or not.”
“The Jennifer Hudson Show” airs weekdays. Check your local listings.