Exclusive First Look: Jennifer Hudson Tackles Mental Illness in 'Call Me Crazy' [Photos]

Yahoo! TV

Academy Award-winning talents Jennifer Hudson ("Dreamgirls"), Octavia Spencer ("The Help"), and Melissa Leo ("The Fighter") are uniting for the Lifetime TV movie "Call Me Crazy: A Five Film." This dramatic TV event is a collection of five stories about five women who are struggling with mental illness and their individual efforts to overcome the associated obstacles.

Along with the primarily female cast, a different woman headed up each segment: Laura Dern directed "Grace"; Bryce Dallas Howard directed "Lucy"; Bonnie Hunt directed "Eddie"; Sharon Maguire directed "Allison"; and Ashley Judd directed "Maggie." Jennifer Aniston serves as executive producer for the film.

[Related: Jennifer Hudson Says 'American Idol' Should 'Go Out On Top']

In this exclusive first-look image from the film, Maggie (Hudson) appears exhausted and in a rough emotional state, curled up on a bed watching TV with tissues, food wrappers, and clothes surrounding her. In the background, a beer bottle is visible. Her character is a female veteran who returns home from war only to be shattered by the realities of post-traumatic stress disorder.

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In this additional image, Maggie and her father, Percy (Ernie Hudson), embrace outdoors in front of an SUV. While she looks severely depressed and somewhat distant, he looks confused and helpless with eyes red from crying.

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With the exception of some smaller TV and movie roles, Jennifer Hudson -- who began her career as an "American Idol" finalist (she was voted off in seventh place) -- has primarily been involved in musical-inspired productions, both on TV and in film. Her most recent TV appearance was on the current season of NBC's musical drama "Smash" as Veronica Moore, a two-time Tony Award winner. In the 2006 film "Dreamgirls," Hudson played Effie Melody White, a character inspired by iconic singers Etta James, Aretha Franklin, and Florence Ballard. Her role as Maggie in "Call Me Crazy" will be her first foray into heavily dramatic territory.

[Related: Check Out Jennifer Hudson in 'Smash']

"Call Me Crazy" also stars Oscar nominee Melanie Griffith ("Working Girl"), Emmy winner Jean Smart ("24"), Sofia Vassilieva ("Medium"), Brittany Snow ("Harry's Law"), Sarah Hyland ("Modern Family"), Jason Ritter ("Parenthood"), Lea Thompson ("Switched at Birth"), Ernie Hudson ("The Secret Life of the American Teenager"), and comedian Chelsea Handler.

"Call Me Crazy: A Five Film" premieres Saturday, 4/20 at 8 PM on Lifetime.