"I'll never forget. We were sitting down having a couple drinks and he goes, 'You know what? I'm tired of people telling me I can or can't do things. I'm just gonna start doing what I want,'" recalled Hudson at the premiere of the movie. "And I was like, 'You know, you do that.' It sort of became your mantra."
She also says the film's script, co-written by Braff and his brother Adam, struck a chord. It made her emotional to explain it on the red carpet.
"I loved it and actually it hit me on a very personal level because the themes of this film are about family, and you know, finding yourself and where you belong, and letting go of certain dreams and realizing that your life is right in front of you and taking that in instead of being one step ahead of it," she said. Tears welled up in her eyes as she added: "Just something about it just really resonated with me and made me quite emotional."
"Wish I Was Here" is Braff's second directorial effort. His first, "Garden State," which he wrote, directed and co-starred with Natalie Portman, was a critical success. It's been 10 years since Braff returned to the director's chair and he made it happen by funding the movie using the crowdsourcing site Kickstarter.
"The Kickstarter thing was born out of... like, 'God, this system is exhausting and there's so many pitfalls it's ridiculous. There has to be another way,'" explained Braff of the red tape and politics that can hinder filmmaking in Hollywood.
Braff's good friend Donald Faison, Mandy Patinkin, Joey King, Josh Gadd and Ashley Greene are also in the movie and were at the Saturday premiere.
One Direction singer Harry Styles also showed up to support Braff, who has become a good friend.
Patinkin flew from Alaska to make it to the premiere. He couldn't stay for the screening though because he flew to Los Angeles for Saturday night's SAG Awards to represent his series "Homeland."
"It's a busy day. It's a busy day. I flew in from Alaska last night," he said. "Four flights to get here. Visiting my son and now here for this joyous occasion and then the minute the film starts I have to race in the car, go to the airport, fly to L.A., run into a bathroom, put my tuxedo on, run to the red carpet for the SAG Awards and be at the table before it goes on the air."