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Beyonce is Etta James -- FIRST LOOK

Beyonce is Etta James -- FIRST LOOK

Beyonce and Adrien Brody are first seen on the set of Cadillac Records in New Jersey on Monday.

Beyonce stars as legendary Blue singer Etta James and Adrien plays legendary record produce Len Chess. Mos Def, Jeffrey Wright, Emmanuelle Chriqui and Cedric The Entertainer co-star in the movie.

The film which chronicles the rise and fall of influential R&B record label Chess Records will also shoot in Mississippi later in the month.

Etta James spoke to PageSix about Beyonce playing her, “Etta James ain’t been no angel!” she said at the time. “I don’t think she looks like me, but that’s all right. They can fix that up.” Let’s hope they can fix Beyonce up!

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Photos: Dave Allocca/
Posted to: Adrien Brody, Beyonce Knowles

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  • piper, with a low

    Beyonce as Etta James?


  • Frenchy

    Sorry but this is a big miscast. Beyonce can’t act. She’s like the black Jessica Simpson in that regard.

  • lily

    Adrien and Beyonce? Ummm…..ugh…but i guess we will have to wait and see. I am sure they could have gotten someone else to play the roll. Wouldn’t mind seeing Heather Headley or something.

  • reny

    love her!

  • saki

    she’s beautiful!!

  • amanda

    I love Beyonce, but I just can’t take her acting seriously. Stick to making great music!!

  • Helena

    Oh dear. Well at least she manages to look decent with blonde hair.

  • ack!

    I cringe when Beyonce just talks much less “acts”.

  • Mrs. Victor newman

    What next ? Rhianna playing Earth Kitt? Hollywood needs to stop with he bull crap

  • legs

    she looks funny.

  • Si

    Wat the hell is this???Is this the devil?

  • postwatcher

    #2 awesome…she is the black Jessica Simpson. She really can’t sing well without the studio remixing.

    I wonder if they plan on dubbing Etta’s voice in for the song? Or maybe they can dub in Amy Winehouse…

  • Ms. Big Breast

    YEAH THAT IS RIGHT! BEYONCE..IS ETTA! and she is going to be GOOD! stop hating..haters!

  • About time

    Why does she keep getting movie roles. She can’t act.

  • eddie jones

    So how old is Beyonce? I Heard she has lied about her age and is actually much older then she claims to be, any truth to this?

  • LADY T

    I love Beyonce…I have to admitt it even if my husband disagrees…She’s is a great talent and I know that she can only get better with her acting. I can’t wait to see this film…


    Why, Why, WHY………………… :(

    Why her?

  • Rae

    Hee at Etta James. Why does Beyonce insist on doing movies? I hate that just music or just acting isn’t enough anymore.

  • jonhythacarzymuthafukca

    why are these people letting her act, have any of you guys seen any of her movies?? she cant act, she has that stupid grin on her face throughout all her movies.

  • go beyonce!

    This is a good transformation. Beyonce’s giving Etta’s look a boost. I’m sure she’s going to embody this role how she conquers everything else she applies herself too. THIS WILL STRETCH HER AS AN ACTRESS.

  • go beyonce!

    To those saying she can’t act – where did you see her “acting” and it was bad? In Carmen – SHE DID EXCELLENT – jump started her acting career; Austin Powers – SHE DID GREAT – it was action and she held her own; Pink Panther – SHE DID HER JOB – she herself turned down the sequel because it was NO ACTING INVOLVED; Dreamgirls – SHE DID GOOD – J.Hud won the Oscar, but Beyonce’s the one people are still talking about, not to mention they use her silhoutte to promote the movie and she produced the soundtrack. Beyonce also scored 2 GG noms of her own. SO I ASK AGAIN – WHERE WAS HER BAD ACTING?

  • Tug

    Watching her act is as painful to endure as having a root canal without anesthesia. Not to mention, she looks nothing like Etta James. With all the good actresses out there that could’ve pulled this off so much better, why cast this hack? Hollywood needs to get a clue…yeech!

  • Thomas

    O lala. Keep hating haters. She still the hottest chick in the game, that’s why she still got all this roles. It doesn’t matter if she can act or not cause in the end, that’s not gonna stop whatever she loves doing. And she still has way more money than any of you combine anyway. Hollywood did a great job for picking her, cause she actually can sing and entertained in a movie, unlike anyone else. Period.

    Beyonce look great. I can’t wait to see this.

  • Michele

    Etta James is a LEGEND!!! Beyonce is a disappointment for this role.

  • the_original_nika

    I know #18, its never enough why can´t these artists just stick to one thing. All these singers wanna act, they must think its easy ugh.

  • samara

    who? what? why? What studio is making this film.? and who is directing this?..Holly wood is getting loney,nuts…those ppl really need to leave the dope alone…what kidda of pull does beyonce got on these ppl. .Is she really that gorgeous to make? anyone say. “yeah, sure.” “audition, on you dont need to do that”, pluzzzzz im going to throw up. of all the actress who could of played this role and u give to a R/B singer who cant act and has only a few movies…what a shame

  • Derek

    She can sing but she CANNOT act!!!

  • [☆F a m o u s☆]

    the oscar buzz has already begun.

  • gwadastyle

    shut up!! stop hating, give her a break!!!!! she only made 5 movies!!! she got time to improve her skills :) she has talent , well im a fan but that’s my opinion

  • oakling

    Man, Beyonce’s no angel either. All I have ever heard about her is that she is an insane, obsessive, rageful prima donna.

  • amber

    She can’t act people – stop drinking the koolaid. Carmen – she was singing so that doesn’t count. Anytime she had to stand there and actually emote, she was painful. Austin Powers – she wasn’t funny and she had the same monotone voice throughout. Dreamgirls – again, she was NOT the star of that show, I don’t care how many nominations her daddy paid for. J Hud was the star and she shut this chick down. I haven’t even bothered to see the rest of her films….she’s just so awkward on camera that it’s cloying. Beyonce doesn’t even remotely sound anything like Etta so I hope they don’t let her sing.

  • spot

    bWaaaaaahahahahahahhhhaaaaaa!!!! Its like a little orphan Annie wig, but blonde.

  • G`fan

    I think Beyonce is perfect for this role. She’s a good actress and one of the best singers of our time. Stop hatin on her…

  • BabyBella

    Beyonce is a wonderful performer/singer but her acting is a very painful experience to watch. When is someone going to sit her down and tell her it’s just not a pretty sight to witness. Madonna kept on trying and her acting was just a bad. When has being able to sing given someone the ability to act?

  • lene

    I love B. but whenever she’s in a movie, i can’t see it.

  • najeeba
  • Brittany

    Why is it that whenever someone doesn’t like Beyonce, they’re labeled a “hater”? Some people need to pry their lips off her ass long enough to realize that not everything she does is good.

    Her music is good, but her acting is painful. I have to wonder if the people who think she’s a good actress have actually watched her movies.

  • Cindy

    Just because Beyonce is a singer by profession does not mean she should play every black singer in a biopic


    Poor Etta, Beyonce should not be playing the icon. How would Beyonce feel if some two-bit wanna be singer player played her in her biopic. That’s the exact same thing here, only here she’s the two-bit wanna be singer.


  • Jon

    First rule of thumb when you’re a singer trying to become an actor: Do not take a role that requires you to sing, if that film is a biopic. (If it’s a musical, well obviously…)

    The point of acting is to transform yourself into someone you’re not. This won’t be Angela Bassett playing Tina Turner. This will be Mandy Moore in…most of her films.

    If I felt that Beyonce had any respect for acting, or had any intention of *being* an actress, I could get behind this. But it seems to me she’s just doing this to win an Oscar; you have to admit, this is Oscar bait. So was Dreamgirls.

    Her most successful attempt to date was Dreamgirls. There are three major papers considered the best in the biz: The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, New York Times.

    “Meanwhile, Knowles shows more flair than her character is supposed to have.” That’s all THR had to say about her role in Dreamgirls. The rest of the review was basically about Hudson.

    NYT: “Ms. Knowles’s performance has been static and detached. In her limited work in movies she has never seemed comfortable with acting, shying away from any emotional display that might compromise her steely, hieratic dignity.”

    Variety: “As befits a character described at one point as “a product,” Deena is more manipulated than self-driven, but Knowles is poised, quietly determined and beautiful beyond belief, blossoming from innocent teenager to self-possessed star.”

    That Variety review? Is the most positive of the bunch. Which is kind of sad. I agree with the NYT review, that she refuses anything that compromises the image she’s built for herself. Beyonce is too safe, generic, and untalented to be an actress. She ought to stick to singing. The rest is just ego.

  • just me

    I love her singing and dancing but she cannot act! I hate to eveb hear her speak in an interview-she sounds so stupid and uneducated!

  • i

    Hell to the f**kin no!

  • nuna

    beyonce looks friggin ugly and would not make a good etta james. etta could sing and was very pretty when she was young, and still is now; beyonce looks nothing like her. plus etta has a great personality; beyonce has none. beyonce can’t wear her shoes. sorry but she can’t. she is’nt even humble enough i heard to let someone who actally knows how to sing sing the songs for the movie. she’s disgusting.

    and for all of you who are calling individuals here with enough common sense to know beyonce is a talentless hack, you sound like a flock of uneducated lowclass ghetto people! do yourselves a favor and go to school!

  • http://GPost Team Lara Croft

    Love Beyonce but after Dreamgirls, I can’t imagine her playing Etta and doign it with depth. IEtta’s life was awful – drugs, welfare, booze – I don;t see Beyonce playing this with any depth. I think they should have cast an unknown or Thandie Newton, Halle Berry – someone with more acting talent. My 2 cents.

  • http://GPost Team Lara Croft

    Jon @ 03/10/2008 at 9:27 pm

    I love Beyonce as a music figure and singer and dancer but your post is dead on. I could not agree more. Tired of singers getting roles that should go to actors.

  • rolling eyes

    She’s hungry for an oscar and going about it in all the wrong ways

    AND at the expense of good people like Etta James.

    Damn…like we haven’t endured enough from Beyonce.

  • Onthereal

    This is a TRAVESTY!! Etta James is not a simple woman to portray.You can’t just cast any ole body to play ETTA JAMES!!!!! Beyonce does NOT have the skill nor the training to pull off this role and sounds to me like Etta ain’t to thrilled about it either. Hell if I was Etta i’d be insulted. Every well trained black actress out there should be insulted, this is disrespect to the craft! Beyonce needs take 2 years off and learn how to act before she EVER gets in front of the camera again.

  • love Beyonce

    I do Love Beyone! She is great in her own right! I am truly dissapointed in the Director of this film to give this role to Beyonce. She does not look anthing like Etta how dissapointing isn’t that how a bioghraphy should be? At least there should be a resembelance. The make up and hair is a mockary! Come on people get it the hell togethor. Etta deserves a profound portrayal well before Beyone
    there was Etta!!


    Who else would put fannies in seats? Heather Headly? Please. They ran her off Broadway. Faith Evans might have been good, but when are White folks gon’ pay money to see Faith Evans? Hate her or love her, Beyonce moves the crowd, and that’s what movies are all about. Somebody asked why they can’t stick to music; BECAUSE, with the Internet, NO HAS TO PAY FOR MUSIC ANYMORE. (Ren of “Ren and Stimpy” voice): EEDIOT! PEACE.

  • beyoncesbabyboy

    she is damn gr8 at singin actin and everthing

  • Princess