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AFRO-LICIOUS; YEAH BABY! Beyonce tells why she would only get Foxxy in Goldmember if she got to wear BIG hair.

Byline: Rick Fulton

GORGEOUS Destiny's Child singer Beyonce Knowles has admitted she wouldn't have done Austin Powers if she hadn't been allowed to wear an Afro wig.

The gorgeous star plays detective Foxxy Cleopatra as Austin Powers in Goldmember travels back to the hip and happening Seventies.

Beyonce, who takes over from Liz Hurley and Heather Graham as Austin's girl, admits that although she was born in 1981, the Seventies are her favourite era and it was because the film was set then she decided to make her film debut in Goldmember.

She said: "The style, the fashion, the music and the whole attitude - they held their own bodies very strong. It was all about soul, you know. I loved it. I loved the hair, I've always loved Aretha Franklin.

"I have been thinking of how to get into acting from singing, but couldn't work out a way.

"Then I got a call from Mike Myers who said he really wanted me to play this character from the Seventies who had this hair, wore these clothes and had this attitude.

"It was almost like 'Oh my God, this is perfect' and that's how it all worked out.

"That really gave me a reason to get into acting, not that I couldn't have got into it in a different movie, but it being set in the Seventies really gave me an extra reason to get into it."

The Sixties super-spy's third film, Austin Powers in Goldmember, is out on July 26.

And once again, 192 are ahead of our rivals with the first interview from the new film.

It's been three years since Austin Powers: The Spy Who S****** Me hit the big screen.

Once again, Myers plays Austin, Dr Evil and Fat B******. The film also sees the return of Michael York, Robert Wagner, Seth Green, Mindy Sterling and Verne J. Troyer as Mini-Me.

In Goldmember, Dr Evil and Mini-Me escape from prison and kidnap Austin's beloved father Nigel Powers, played by Michael Caine.

Austin has to chase Dr Evil through time and it's in 1975 that he meets Foxxy and her very large Afro.

Beyonce admitted she spent most of the time in a car with Mike and Michael Caine while filming the movie and Oscar-winner Michael made her feel at ease by putting on a Welsh accent.

Beyonce said: "When I tell you I laughed, you'd better believe me. I've never laughed so hard in my life.

"They would do all these different accents. They'd do Mike's accent and Michael would do a Welsh accent or Mike would do Michael's.

"Michael was great, he'd tell stories from his childhood, from different films he's been in.

"It was so wonderful because I'm new to all of this."

Beyonce admits she'd heard stories about how difficult and boring filming can be - having to wait around for hours before scenes are shot.

Luckily, the cast and crew - many of whom have been part of all three films - made her first foray into acting an easy one.

She said: "It has definitely been one of the greatest experiences of my life. We had so much fun. I learned so much about film and film production.

"Mike Myers was really great and helped me so much. He was really nice and shared so much information with me, which was great because it was a whole new game for me.

"We filmed for about five months and were done with all the reshooting in early May.

"I know from others that it can be really hard to do films and I know from video shooting that there's often a lot of waiting around, but doing Austin Powers was really fun.

"There was a great atmosphere - the crew had all these inside jokes going around."

Of course, as the singer in one of the world's best groups, Beyonce also gets to sing the theme tune.

Seventies funk-style Work It Out, which will be released on July 15, is also her debut solo single.

Beyonce is already known to millions of fans as a member of the biggest girl group on the planet .

As part of Destiny's Child, Beyonce has sold in excess of 28 million records (more than 20 million albums and eight million singles) worldwide with tunes such as Survivor, Bootylicious and Bills, Bills, Bills.

Their single Independent Women Part 1, co-written and produced by Beyonce and taken from the soundtrack of the hit movie Charlie's Angels, was a massive global smash.

It topped the US singles chart for nine weeks and was the first UK No.1 from an American all-female band since 1989, when The Bangles hit the top with Eternal Flame.

Now Beyonce is preparing to go solo, although Destiny's Child haven't split up, despite reports.

The working title of her album is Dangerously In Love and it'll be out in the autumn.

Beyonce gave us a glimpse of what to expect.

She said: "In Destiny's Child, we sang a lot of songs about the power of being a woman.

"On this album, I think it is important to say that even though you are strong, you can still feel weak sometimes and even though you can live without a man, sometimes you need a man.

"Sometimes you get lonely, sometimes you get heartbroken.

"Writing for Destiny's Child is more of a group statement and sometimes maybe a statement for women. On the solo album, it is just me talking."

And those of you who have already heard Work It Out, expect more of the same on the solo album.

Beyonce added: "Doing a solo album, I can express whatever I want. I've always loved soul music and now I can do that.

"I feel that my new single Work it Out sounds a bit like Aretha Franklin and James Brown. That's the music that I always loved.

"There's a power to it, which I really love. Take a person like Tina Turner. She was a woman and she would dress like a woman and perform like a man - she would get down. That's the feeling that I'm trying to express in the video."

Acting in Goldmember has given her a new career to think about. She's about to start filming Fighting Temptations with Cuba Gooding Jr.

In it, she plays a jazz singer and claims it's a gospel movie.

But she hasn't forgotten Destiny's Child and returned to the stage with Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams in Swansea for Radio 1's summer roadshow.

In Destiny's Child, the girls combine faith and religion with a strong sensual expression. But doesn't Beyonce consider them two opposites?

She disagreed, adding: "As far as Destiny's Child, we've never had a song about sex, we never ever talk about it in our songs. Even if we did, our religious belief and our relation to God has nothing to do with how we dress.

"I think that God loves you regardless of anything. I think it is about how you live your life and your relationship with God and nobody else can make any kind of judgment of your relationship with God.

"I think that we are able to touch a lot of people in the world and some people who don't listen to gospel music or believe in God, they might feel it anyway when going to our shows or listening to our songs.

"We feel God, I love God and I think that the fact that I stay humble and sane in this business comes from that. Nobody else can judge that relationship."

Keep reading 192 for more Austin Powers stories as the countdown to Goldmember's release on July 26 begins.
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jun 21, 2002
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