BARBARA WALTERS TALKS TO THREE OF THIS YEAR�S ACADEMY AWARD
NOMINEES -- EDDIE MURPHY, JENNIFER HUDSON AND HELEN MIRREN --
AS WELL AS OSCAR� HOST ELLEN DEGENERES FOR THE
26TH ANNUAL �BARBARA WALTERS OSCAR� SPECIAL�
Four megastars in show business -- Academy Award� nominees Eddie Murphy, Dame Helen Mirren, Jennifer Hudson and Oscar� host Ellen DeGeneres -- sit down with Barbara Walters for an electrifying hour on the 26th annual edition of �Barbara Walters Oscar� Special,� airing SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 25 at 7:00 p.m., ET -- and immediately following the Academy Awards on the west coast -- on the ABC Television Network.
Walters says: �This special is about risks and rewards. Ellen DeGeneres watched her career dry up, fought her way back, won some Emmy awards and landed the toughest job in comedy -- hosting the Academy Awards. Jennifer Hudson was unceremoniously booted off �American Idol,� but nabbed the role of a lifetime in �Dreamgirls,� a role which catapulted her to stardom. Academy Award nominee Helen Mirren, known for her provocative and sexy image, plays the icy Queen Elizabeth II in the Oscar nominated film �The Queen.� Academy Award nominee Eddie Murphy tossed his leading man persona to take a supporting role in �Dreamgirls,� a role which earned him his first Oscar nomination.�
Ellen DeGeneres built a career as �the girl next door.� Her parents divorced when she was 13 years old and her mother went into a deep depression. DeGeneres tells Ms. Walters, �It was the first time I realized what kind of power humor has.�
Jennifer Hudson always dreamed of being a singer. After being voted off of �American Idol� three years ago, she got a phone call to audition for the role of �Effie� in �Dreamgirls.� Feeling shocked and humiliated after losing on �American Idol,� Hudson tells Ms. Walters, �I felt challenged� Once again, I�m a witness to prove that that�s not it� It doesn�t end there. It ends when you say it ends.�
Dame Helen Mirren has acted in over 45 films, with several overtly sexual performances. She breathes life into Queen Elizabeth II � a woman known for being strong, stoic and dutiful. This role marks the third time that Mirren has garnered an Academy Award nomination, and she hopes this one will be the charm. She tells Ms. Walters, �You get a sense of what�s going to happen.�
Eddie Murphy was always a natural comedian. He grew up in a middle class neighborhood in Brooklyn and became a household name at the age of 19. He�s made 31 films, accepted a cut in salary and took a supporting role in �Dreamgirls,� never expecting he would be Oscar-nominated. About the future, Murphy reveals to Ms. Walters, �I might go back to the stage and do standup again and take it full circle.�
These superstars share their thoughts on their career highs and lows with Barbara Walters on �Barbara Walters Oscar� Special,� a Barwall Production, produced and directed by Bill Geddie.