Jennifer Hudson has sat down for a chat with many famous faces who have played a caped crusader (or assisted one) in a superhero film.
Check out the most memorable moments of celebrities revealing details about performing death-defying stunts and undergoing intense training for their roles, as well as what playing a superhero has meant to them personally.
Samuel L. Jackson — Marvel Cinematic Universe
Samuel L. Jackson may not play a superhero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but we’ll let that slide just based off of how many superhero flicks he’s appeared in. As Nick Fury, head of S.H.I.E.L.D., the star has made 11 appearances in Marvel movies in 15 years — plus his new Disney+ series “Secret Invasion.”
Samuel told JHud how his prolific career as Nick Fury came to be. “I was in the comic book store years ago and there was this comic called ‘The Ultimates’,” he said.
He flipped through the book and came across a character that looked suspiciously familiar. “I don’t remember giving anybody permission to use my image to be in a comic book,” he recalled thinking.
In the comic book, the character of Nick Fury is asked who would play him in a movie — and he replies Samuel L. Jackson! He had his manager call Marvel, and they said that if they ever end up making these superhero movies, they want Samuel to play Nick Fury.
He was eventually offered a nine-picture deal. “Nine pictures? How long do I gotta stay alive to do nine pictures?” Samuel remembered thinking at the time. “Not knowing they were gonna make nine movies in 15 months.”
According to Samuel, he’s still having a ball with the character after all these years. “Here I am still being Nick Fury and loving every minute of it.”
Sarah Shahi, who plays the character of Isis in the D.C. Comics superhero movie “Black Adam,” told Jennifer all about a terrifying stunt she did for the film that was so scary, she thought she wouldn’t live to see another stunt!
“Our first day of shooting was me having to do this big jump over this mountain,” she recalled to JHud. She thought she was in the clear since stunt doubles normally do big action shots like this one, but the director informed her that she, too, needed to perform the stunt because they needed a closeup of her face while jumping.
“I had a good cry before I did it, because I thought I was going to die!” she said of the terrifying moment on set. She remembered thinking, “At least I’m going to die doing what I love. That’s a good lesson to give to my kids.”
“But I did it — and I’m alive!” said Sarah.
“I’m very proud, because when I took my children to the premiere, it was this moment for me… As a mom, as you know, you miss out on a lot of firsts sometimes and you don’t get those back, so for me to be able to share that with my children and for them to watch the movie, they can say, ‘That’s my mom!’ — that’s everything to me,” she said.
Meagan Good spoke to JHud about living her dream of playing a superhero when she was cast as Darla in the “Shazam!” movies.
“This is just one of those things where God just came all the way through,” she told Jennifer. “I want to be in the Marvel, DC [universe]. I want to be a superhero. I want little Black girls to be able to see themselves.”
She realized she hadn’t been putting in the effort of “meeting God halfway,” so she got to work. “I started to work out from that point forward five days a week, for an hour and a half a day with my trainer,” she said.
She even made what she calls an “affirmation video” of her working out in the gym and striking superhero poses in front of a mural of famous superheroes. “The video says, ‘Believe all things are possible.” Two weeks later, she got the audition for “Shazam!”
Javicia Leslie is the first Black woman to play the role of Batwoman, and it was a role she never thought she had a chance of getting.
“It was such an honor,” she told JHud of playing wearing the iconic cowl. “I grew up on comics. I’m actually a comic fiend… I love DC, Batman, all of that.
“The funny thing is, when I saw the role come out, I said, ‘Well, they’re not gonna hire a Black woman to play Batwoman,” recalled Javicia. “But sure, I’ll just audition anyway. It was in the middle of the pandemic, so why not?”
She was shocked when she got the call that she was going to be tested for the role — and even more surprised when she found out she was offered the part! “My manager calls me and she says, ‘May I speak to [Batwoman’s name] Ryan Wilder?’” Javicia fondly recalled.