New Line Cinema To mark the 20th anniversary of Austin Powers in Goldmember, and more importantly, the film’s surprise casting...
To mark the 20th anniversary of Austin Powers in Goldmember, and more importantly, the film’s surprise casting of Beyoncé as Foxy Cleopatra, Vulture has cobbled together an oral history of how the pop star’s presence in the Mike Myers comedy transitioned her from pop singer to one of the largest superstars on the planet. While the film didn’t exactly blow the doors off the box office, Beyoncé was a favorite amongst critics who lamented that her character wasn’t given more to do.
According to the deep dive, working with Beyoncé was a surreal experience. Not because she was a diva or anything (by all accounts she was surprisingly shy), but because she was a cordial collaborator who wanted to make sure she looked “fabulous” as a Black woman in the ’70s. As part of that pursuit, the producers were surprised when she made an uncommon request for an actress, according to an anecdote from makeup artist Kate Biscoe.
When we were shooting, someone brought her a poster that would be promoting the movie. He showed it to her, like, “Do you like it?” And she was kind of like, “Yeah.” He goes, ’What’s the matter?” And she says, “You made me too skinny. It’s not me.” Then she did this hourglass shape. And he said, “Okay, we’ll fix that.” She walked away to go do the scene, and I looked at him and smiled, like, “Is that the first time that you’ve ever had an actress ask to make her body bigger?” He was like, “Yes. It’s going to cost me thousands of dollars, but I am going to do it.”
Keep in mind, Beyoncé made this request in the early 2000s during the heyday of Maxim magazine and super-thin actresses and socialites. She was bucking a pretty significant and unhealthy trend, and it clearly didn’t harm her career one bit.
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