This is from Entertainment Weekly's website.
Secondary Roles, First-Rate Performances
Has any actress lived through a more dramatic rags-to-revenge scenario than Jennifer Hudson? Booted off American Idol in 2004, Hudson, 25, went low-profile. Around May 2005, she had her first audition for Dreamgirls' Effie, belt-it-out lead singer in a Supremes-style trio who gets kicked out when she proves too zaftig, too fractious, and too ethnic-looking. Twice, Hudson says, she was told she was out of the running, but in November 2005, she got called for a screen test. A week later, she was cast. ''I celebrated for about 10 minutes, and then it hit me,'' she says. ''I needed to focus.'' Now she's celebrating again, with a Golden Globe and great reviews, especially for showstopper, ''And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going.'' No, Simon Cowell, she's not. — Steve Daly
Eddie Murphy, Oscar nominee — the phrase has an odd ring. We've seen the 45-year-old disappear into his characters before, but always under heavy makeup and prosthetics in comedies like The Nutty Professor. In Dreamgirls, his challenge was to make the audience forget who he is — no easy feat for a star whose films have grossed $3 billion — while remaining in plain sight. Murphy's performance is deadly serious, plumbing the depths of bitterness and heartache beneath R&B singer James ''Thunder'' Early's surface flash and bravado. These days, comic actors make the shift toward drama when their careers are still young. For Murphy, that transition took decades. But when the moment finally came, he used everything he had, and it was perhaps more than even he himself knew. —Josh Rottenberg
Source: Entertainment Weekly