'Respect' stars Marlon Wayans, Marc Maron discuss new Aretha Franklin biopic

CHICAGO (WLS) -- It's finally here! "Respect" opens in theaters Thursday. Some of the people involved in the film spoke about joining Chicago's Jennifer Hudson to bring Aretha Franklin's life to the big screen.

RELATED | Jennifer Hudson talks about her role as Aretha Franklin in 'Respect'

Oscar-nominated Kris Bowers handled the score for "Respect." Aretha Franklin spotted him competing in a jazz competition and became a mentor.

"Now, to be working on 'Respect' feels, full circle, and the process of writing for that was so emotional as well," Bowers said. "Jennifer Hudson does such an incredible job. It's the best I've ever seen performances rendered in a film and especially the way that songwriting happens."

Marc Maron plays Jerry Wexler, the music producer behind some of Aretha Franklin's signature hits.

"There was such attention paid to presenting the music - by Jennifer and by Liesel and everybody involved that balanced the darkness of her life. It was a real tribute," Maron said.

Marlon Wayans plays Ted White, Aretha's domineering, abusive first husband.

"He's fighting his demons, he's fighting back, that part of him is happy for her and part of him is jealous," Wayans explained. "He's happy for her freedom but he wants to control her. I never wanted to make him a monster, I wanted to make him human."

Jennifer Hudson was actually chosen by Aretha Franklin to play her.

"It makes it super exciting, obviously, but just as equally, kind of scary, oh my gosh, that's a lot of pressure," Hudson said. "Each tear, each moment, each note, out of love and her encouragement to say 'Jennifer, I want you to do this' and that's how I was able to get through it."
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