Beyonce Knowles: The Fighting Temptations Your new film 'The Fighting Temptations' is all about gospel music. How important is the church and gospel in your life?

Beyonce: I grew up in church and I really related because I know how church people can be sometimes. I grew up around very positive women. My mother owned a hair salon and I worked there, so I grew up around all these women, and they were strong. A lot were single mothers, and so I liked playing Lilly in the film. She doesn't have a perfect life, she's a single mother too with a lot of problems, and she's very earthy and very energetic. What's going on with your clothing line?

Beyonce: We'd hoped to get it out by Christmas, but that may not be realistic as I want to make sure it's right. I'm still deciding who to link up with and what type of line I want to do. We're looking at designers in New York, but it's got to be right.

TeenHollywood: With so many distractions in your life, how do you stay focused on your career?

Beyonce: I'm really ambitious and I really enjoy what I do, so it's not hard to stay focused when it's something I'm excited about and something I want. My balance comes from my family. I have reality around me and they tell me when I need to calm down and take it down a couple of notches, and they tell me when I do something good, and I think that's important. So many celebrities lose touch with reality, 'cos everyone works for them and they want to keep their jobs so they never say no. But my family don't care (laughs hard). They'll tell me the truth. The hardest thing right now is trying to keep my personal life private and making sure I take care of myself and that people don't take advantage of me. It's easy to get off track.

TeenHollywood: Are you and Jay-Z really an item?

Beyonce: I don't really want to talk about him, but we will be on the VMAs. I'm a little nervous about it as It'll be my first time performing there by myself, so I'll just make sure to have a TelePromTer.

TeenHollywood: Tell us about parents.

Beyonce: They've always been very supportive in everything I do. My parents have been my stability and my security and I feel that all the things they've taught me come across in my music and my acting and so on. So I'm very grateful for that and all the realness around me. I feel like I can trust people and I feel that they're not making selfish decisions, and I'm lucky.

TeenHollywood: You made your acting debut in Austin Powers; could you see yourself giving up music for acting in the future?

Beyonce: No. To be realistic, music is in me and I do see myself eventually touring and putting out records and not doing anything else - maybe just doing it for my love of music, and also acting. Because of the stability. So if I got married and had kids I'd do things I enjoy, like doing a movie and putting out an album, so I could also focus on my family. I do want to do another movie and right now I'm looking at a lot of scripts, but I'm being very choosy. But I do want one to come out next summer.

TeenHollywood: What about another Austin Powers film?

Beyonce: I'd love to do it - not yet, but I hope they do.

TeenHollywood: Is it true you've been asked to do the 'Dreamgirls' film?

Beyonce: No, they haven't asked me, but I wanted to put the film together and pick the producers. I thought it was such a great play and it'd be fun to do that.

TeenHollywood: When is Destiny's Child going to release some new material?

Beyonce: Right now I'm trying to put together an all-women tour, and that's really hard. I wanted everyone on it, but Ashanti's on tour with R Kelly. I want to get Mary, Monica, maybe Maya - all the R&B singers out there. And then I'll focus on Destiny's Child next year. Kelly just had a big hit movie with 'Jason vs. Freddy' and Michelle's working on her next album, and I still hopefully have 2 more singles off this album, so we'll do Destiny's Child and new songs next year. I also want to do a solo tour for my album, so if the other thing doesn't happen, I hope to tour.

TeenHollywood: Do you feel you and Ashanti are rivals?

Beyonce: I'm not competing at all with anyone. I feel very blessed and I didn't see a lot of the stories as I was in Europe, and it's crazy to me. When 2 young black girls are doing so well, of course they'll make comparisons. I'm just happy. I've been doing it for a long time now, and now it's my first solo album, so I'm happy for her.

TeenHollywood: Is there any rivalry between you and Kelly over your solo careers?

Beyonce: No, not at all. People keep asking me about her movie role, but I haven't had a chance to see it yet. I just got back from vacation. I called her on the night of the premiere, to wish her well, and I talked to her frequently when she was on the set up in Canada while I was shooting this film, as we couldn't visit each other. I can't wait to see her in it and I'm very happy for her. But I'm also a little scared to see it as I don't feel comfortable seeing her get killed.

TeenHollywood: Did you have any advice for her when you spoke on the phone?

Beyonce: The first day you're usually very nervous, and she didn't know how it'd go, so I just told her, You're great, you got the part 'cos you're good. So take your time. Movies are really important to us as we were never around a lot of people. It was just us girls, as we had tutors. So socially, it's different for us, and she's made a lot of friends and is doing another movie right now.

TeenHollywood: Would you ever do a film with Kelly and Michelle?

Beyonce: I'd love to, it'd just have to be done right as most of the time I'm not satisfied with those kinds of movies. If it made sense with good parts, though, I'd love to.

TeenHollywood: Will you ever duet with your sister Solange?

Beyonce: I'd love to. In fact, on her first album there was a hidden track that was duet with her and me. She's so talented but it's hard when you're someone's sister as people don't give you a chance. But she's growing up and writing so many songs and she's in the studio right now.

TeenHollywood: Your parents say that on stage she focuses more on total entertainment while you focus more on your singing. Do you agree?

Beyonce: I guess so. I'm a singer first, and a writer and producer and dancer, and I really don't concentrate on anything when I'm on stage. Something just takes over me, and the only thing I have to focus on are the lyrics as I forget those.

TeenHollywood: So how do you stay in shape?

Beyonce: At one point I was running 6 miles a day, so I'm now a lot thinner than I was when I did this film as you can see, and I also ate healthy food basically. No more Popeye's.

TeenHollywood: How do you stay in such amazing shape now?

Beyonce: I stopped running but I try and work out a bit and just eat more healthy. The best workout is performing.


Lynn Barker is a Hollywood-based entertainment journalist and produced screenwriter.

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