Hudson's estranged brother-in-law William Balfour was sentenced to life behind bars in July, 2012, after being convicted of killing Hudson's mum, Darnell Donerson, her brother, Jason Hudson, and seven-year-old nephew, Julian King, in a grisly murder spree.

The nightmares came flooding back for the Oscar-winning actress and singer as she started work on Lee's new film, which tackles the real-life gun violence in Chicago, Illinois. The Dreamgirls star plays a mother who loses her daughter to a stray bullet, and Hudson admits she accepted the role because she felt a responsibility to her family and hometown.

"This is reality for me," she tells W magazine. "This is my life. A part of my life. And I definitely had that moment of like, 'Are you serious?' But when I really thought about it, I understood why he (Lee) came to me and I thought, 'You know what, it's worth me telling my story so that hopefully no one else has a story like this to tell.'

"The film we're doing is trying to save my city. As my mother said, take care of home. So, for that reason, I was like, 'OK, I get it, it's worth doing'. But I don't think it's anything I will ever, ever revisit again."

Hudson also insists the movie is relevant to the times, and she hopes the movie will help start a conversation towards a gun control solution.

"If we didn't have these issues, I don't think a movie like that would have needed to be made," she continues. "That's the point of making it, to make people pay attention and say, 'Guys, we have to start somewhere'.

"It's not just the city of Chicago. It's everywhere. It's a bad time right now, no matter where we look... It's like, 'What are we doing to ourselves? What's happening? We're acting like animals'. It's unfortunate that things are this way, but it's not going to change unless we do something about it... It's a scary time no matter who you are, where you go, what colour you are, where you live, honey."