About Features Reviews Community Screenings Archives Studios Home
January 2006
The Pink Panther: An Interview with Beyonce Knowles

The Pink Panther: An Interview with Beyonce Knowles

By Wilson Morales

Slowly but surely, Beyonce Knowles will get a handle on the film business and be able to conquer it as she has done with the music industry, but in the meantime, she’s taking small steps to the path of glory. After appearing in “Austin Powers in Goldmember” and then having a bigger role in “The Fighting Temptations”, her roles are getting bigger as her acting skills are improving. In her latest film, Beyonce stars opposite Steve Martin in latest caper of “The Pink Panther”. Beyonce plays Xania, a stunning pop-star, who was going out with a famous soccer player when he was killed and an expensive diamond ring he had on him, known as “The Pink Panther” was stolen. In speaking to blackfilm.com, Beyonce goes over her role and her knowledge of the Pink Panther. She also gives some details as to her next film, Dreamgirls.

Can you talk about the principal attraction of playing the straight girl in this wacky comedy?

Beyonce Knowles: Well, originally, I worked with the director years ago for a Disney sitcom and it was my first acting gig and I hope no one ever finds it.

And what was it called?

Beyonce Knowles: Jet Jackson. Oh, why did I say that? And he remembered working with me and I remember he said, 'you're going to be an actor one day. I'm going to remember you. And he called and told me about Xania, and said she was an international superstar/singer. And, first I thought, you know, I don't want to play another part like that because I don't have time to do the research. And then he told me Kevin Kline and Steve Martin were going to be part of it and I got into it. I told myself I'll always work with the best people who I can learn from. And it only took me three weeks to film this movie. And, I did two weeks in New York and one week in Paris, and I had a great time. It didn't feel like work. I laughed the whole time on the set and I'm happy I'm in it.

Did you have a song choice? Did you pick the song or did they have it for you?

BK: Woman Like Me, they actually had and we changed it. I got some of my guys to redo the track and I rewrote some of the lyrics and melodies but. The first single, Check On It, which I wrote and hit #1. I wrote it for the movie.

What keeps you balanced?

BK: My family, definitely. There's always one or two family members with my at all times. They're right there [in the back of the room]. I don't go anywhere without someone that loves me and that can tell me the truth.

What thought have you given to starting a family of your own?

BK: When I can slow down and focus on that. I definitely want to have a family because I grew up with my mother and father and my sister and Kelly and my cousin and we all went to church every Sunday and we were a strong family and I want the same thing.

With Valentine's Day coming up, what does a guy have to do to impress you?

BK: Well, this Valentine's Day I'll be working on the film and thank God I'm in love with this movie because I'm not mad. That's fine. But if somebody could just take me away and make me not work, that would be great. But just- - it's not a certain gift or anything. Just time and a good meal.

You said you like to work with people that you can learn from. What did you learn from this?

BK: The biggest thing is probably watching Steve Martin. Because, he is so professional and so serious and he's been doing it for a long time. And you can just see that in his mannerisms. In between takes, he goes from being this wacky, unbelievable character to becoming Steve Martin and working with the director and changing things and writing the script and, I'm a songwriter and performer so I respect that. Hopefully, one day, I'll do that. But I saw. I've never worked with a person who wrote the script and starred in the movie.

Wasn't Mike Meyers like that?

BK: Well, he was. I guess he was, you're right.

Steve described you as very shy. Where does that shyness come from and is that the reason why you became a performer in the first place?

BK: Probably, yes. I don't say I'm shy anymore. I'm just kind of quiet and calm and I observe and I like to. When I'm not working, just blending in. But I guess I can kind of come out of my shell when I'm on the stage. Now I'm learning in films I can do the same thing with different characters.

Dreamgirls you started filming already this week?

BK: A couple weeks ago.

This is going to be the biggest thing you'll ever do in movies and, is it going to change a lot onstage?

BK: [Starts shaking with excitement] Definitely! I'm so excited about it I can't even talk and my voice just starts shaking because I'm so happy! I've been hearing about Dream Girls since I was about 15. I've never seen it because I was born the year it was on Broadway. But I have seen the bootleg tape of it and I've been hearing about Deena and everything about her 'cause my choreographer is obsessed with her. And, they told me they were doing this movie and I said “Oh, my God. I have to have this movie.” And at first they weren't sure if I could play the part because I haven't done anything like it on film. And, I knew I could do it. I just never had a chance to do it. And, I got the movie and I'm so excited because I'm proud of myself and I get to play a character with range and I'm 16 in the beginning and I grow up to be 36 and there's nothing glamorous about Dina, and she kind of butterflies into this Diva. And I have dramatic scenes and emotional scenes and very funny scenes and just all these colors and I'm so excited because people are going to be able to see me act for the first time.

And you're working with Eddie Murphy and Jaime Foxx and Bill Condon.

BK: Bill Condon is so good. He knows so much and is so detailed-oriented and. I mean before we event started. First of all, we had two months to rehearse, which I've never experienced anything like that. Which allowed me and the other ladies to bond and we have such a great chemistry together. It's real. Even off screen we do little crazy things that friends do. We're all so excited to be there; we're just like, like is this real? Are we in this film? In storyboards, he had the movie already shot. I never had seen anything like that. He took all over our screen tests and put our voices to the storyboards. And I'm like we can already see the movie before we shot. Everything is just perfect.

What made you do this now?

BK: Well, I guess, I had, well every movie I do I learn a little bit more. And, after going on auditions and kind of not getting some movies and getting some movies and having more life experiences and having a couple acting classes, I realized I am an actor and I can really do this right.

Is Deena you?

BK: No. Deena's not me. But I have a lot of similarities. Just I started off in a group. I'm very ambitious. I was always. There was something about me since a little girl that just was different.

What made you do this now?

BK: Well, I guess, I had, well every movie I do I learn a little bit more. And, after going on auditions and kind of not getting some movies and getting some movies and having more life experiences and having a couple acting classes, I realized I am an actor and I can really do this right.

What was the name of your first group?

BK: Girls Tyme. Yeah, Girls Tyme with a 'Y.'

Would you do Broadway?

BK: Yeah, I would love to do Broadway.

Can you talk a little bit about your outfits in the film?

BK: Yes. It was great doing the film because I just had to not laugh. All I had to do was not laugh and wear great clothes. And the clothes were. There was sketches before we did the film, I was so excited and they came to life and. Xania walked down the street and had a fierce hat and a Hermes bag, you know that was fabulous. The clothes were one of the best things about-

Are you trying to find the right balance between your acting and recording career?

BK:I am. That's really difficult.

How you do it?

BK: It's hard. I just have to be really passionate about whatever I do. And I've made it work. I'm slowing down a lot. Like this movie Dreamgirls, I told everybody, which is really hard, that I'm not doing anything for six months. Don't ask me. I'm not performing. I'm not doing NO. But, obviously there's certain things I have to do.

Like promoting this.

BK: Well, this is all right. This is cool. Oh, I’m excited about it. And I have the Grammy's next week. And Destiny's Child, we're singing the National Anthem in Houston.

And when's the last date?

BK: We already finished the tour. So we're just doing another. Since it's Houston, we're doing the National Anthem. But, other than that, I'm not doing anything but the movie. And then when I finish the movie, I'm going to start working on another album.

How does it feel to bring your audience to something they know nothing about?

I think it's amazing. I know my generation, even the original Pink Panther movies, I've never seen. And, there's something so legendary about that song and that image of the Pink Panther and we don't know where it came from. And, so for me to be the person that represents that in 2006 is amazing. For me to be the person that represents Deena is amazing. For me to be the person that represents Foxy Brown or Cleopatra Jones. I just don't even know what to say to that.

You're doing Cleopatra Jones?

BK: No, butI play Foxy Cleopatra and she was kind of a combination of the two.

Why do you think your character was attracted to Clouseau?

BK: Well, she could have been attracted to him? And she could have been using her sexuality to manipulate herself out of a    situation? We don't know that.

Did it make you uncomfortable to use your sexuality like that? Because you're not like that in real life?

BK: Well, I'm kind of like that onstage. Um.I'm very much so like that onstage. But I'm not like that in real life. And it's a character so it's a part of, you know acting.

In Dreamgirls, you're thrilled to be doing Deena, do you see it as a competition with Jennifer Hudson?

BK: Oh, no. Not at all. First of all, she is so sweet. And, one of the nicest people-it's her first movie. Imagine someone and there first movie is Dreamgirls. How blessed is she? And she's so excited and I have chills for her right now just talking about it. She is so grateful and I'm so grateful. And we both give each other advice, we help each other, we would change our minds or whatever. Because we all want this to be great. And, the funny thing about Dreamgirls is that song though. “And I am telling you I'm not going” it's so wonderful. Everybody that's wanted to play Deena before wanted to be Deena and sing that song. But it's impossible. I'm a little jealous because I do love that song. But, we help each other out-not at all; we're both happy to be there.

What is your own writing process like and how do you sort of keep up the writing process during all these different other aspects of your career?

BK: Um usually, I think of concepts and kind of jot them down. I don't write the actual songs until I get in the studio. I used to write just when I was on the plane but now I don't have time because when I'm on the plane, I'm approving pictures and other things.

Are you still as ambitious now as when you were forging your career?

BK: Absolutely. I think it's very ambitious even for me to start acting, because I didn't have to. I don't have any need to. I just want to challenge myself and learn, and I admire people like Barbara Streisand and Diana Ross who, took that risk and are really good at it.

Your whole like seems to be a series of great adventures. What do you think is the most adventurous thing you've ever done?


BK: Probably going solo, because it's hard to leave a group when you love each other and there's nothing going wrong (starts tearing up). It's easy when you hate each other and can't stand to be in the same room. But when you still share a dressing room, still share a tour bus, still love each other and still take that risk-you don't have to because you're still selling records. It's not like people didn't want to buy records anymore so we had no choice. We're still successful, and I took that risk and it was very scary.

And what was the motivation there?

BK: Um, I felt like it was a lot of things that all of us weren't doing because we were using each other as crutches and things that I wouldn't say or wouldn't do because I was holding back.


Pink Panther Hits Theatres February 10th



Terms of Use | Privacy Policy