Sideshow: Forest Whitaker, Jennifer Hudson in mutual awe

This image released by Fox Searchlight Films shows, from left, Jacob Latimore, Angela Bassett, Jennifer Hudson and Forest Whitaker in a scene from "Black Nativity." (AP Photo/Fox Searchlight Films, Phil Bray)
This image released by Fox Searchlight Films shows, from left, Jacob Latimore, Angela Bassett, Jennifer Hudson and Forest Whitaker in a scene from "Black Nativity." (AP Photo/Fox Searchlight Films, Phil Bray) (AP)
Posted: November 29, 2013

F. Whitaker, the singer

"I was nervous singing the songs," says Oscar winner Forest Whitaker of having to sing opposite Grammy-winning warbler Jennifer Hudson in the new Christmas musical feature Black Nativity, which opened Wednesday.

For her part, Hudson was nervous acting opposite such a renowned thesp. "When I did my first scene with him, I was like, 'Oh my God, I am standing here and it's Forest Whitaker,' " she tells USA Today. "This is intimidating."

Based on the Langston Hughes play, the film has Whitaker and Angela Bassett playing parents to a wayward Hudson, who has a teenage son of her own ( Jacob Latimore). Whitaker has played Hudson's dad before, in '08's Fragments.

"Forest has a beautiful voice," says director Kasi Lemmons. She adds that she hopes   the growing number of films about people of color will change Hollywood. "Hopefully these films will open up the doors for films of all colors to come through - Latin, Asian, until we get to the point where we're just telling stories," she says.

Are you insane, Time?

Every year since 1927, Time mag has named one individual, group, idea, or object its person of the year. It's a stunt that has become ridiculously prestigious, which is why we're all gagging over a report that this year's leading vote-getter is . . . a twerker.

Yep, Miley Cyrus, 21, who this year reengineered her image as a hypersexualized freakazoid, may win the 2013 vote. It's due possibly to Time's decision to allow fans to vote online, a process that in past years was allegedly rigged by scam artists.

Also in the running are Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi and NSA contractor-turned-leaker (and alleged treasonous turncoat) Edward Snowden.

The fan-vote winner can be vetoed by Time's editors, who will announce their selection Dec. 11.

Swift serenades a royal

So Jersey rocker Jon Bon Jovi is hanging at Kensington Palace, as he is wont to do, and he's doing an acoustic rendition of "Livin' on a Prayer," when he asks a couple of youngsters to do backup - Taylor Swift and Prince William. The event Tuesday night was a fund-raiser for Centrepoint, a charity that supports homeless youth, and it featured celebs including Colin Firth, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Michelle Dockery.

We do love Love Hewitt

Congrats to Client List hottie Jennifer Love Hewitt, 34, who not only managed to wed actor Brian Hallisay in secrecy and away from the media, but who also gave birth, on Tuesday, to their first baby, daughter Autumn James Hallisay.

A gracious winner

Glee's Amber Riley won this season's Dancing With The Stars Tuesday night.

"Anything that scares me I want to do," said Riley, who was partnered with  Derek Hough. Winning, Riley said, is proof that the determination to succeed is more important than one's weight, size, or looks: "You can do whatever, whatever, whatever you put your mind to."

Sandra Bullock is single

. . . and there's no shame in it. So says the actor  , who has been crowned Entertainment Weekly's entertainer of the year.

The Gravity star hasn't dated anyone - at least not within lens-shot of the paparazzi - since dumping Jesse James in 2010 after his cheating scandal.

Bullock, 49, is happy working and raising her 3-year-old son, Louis.

"If [a relationship] should come along, great," she tells the mag. "But I feel like I'm not missing anything yet."


tirdad@phillynews.com

215-854-2736

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