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AUSTIN POWERS IN GOLDMEMBER

About The Characters (Continued)
When Austin attempts to rescue his father from the clutches of Goldmember and Dr. Evil, he brings along a former associate, the beautiful Foxxy Cleopatra. Years earlier Foxxy was Austin Powers' partner both professionally and personally. She was the last girl he dated before being cryogenically frozen in 1967 while pursuing Dr. Evil.

"When Austin shows up in 1975, eight years after he's stood her up, Foxxy is mad," explains Myers. "Eight years and no phone call. Nobody stands up Foxxy Cleopatra."

The filmmakers found the perfect fox in the lead member of the multi-platinum, multi-award-winning musical group, Destiny's Child; once they met Beyoncé Knowles, who makes her feature film acting debut in Austin Powers in Goldmember, there was no doubt she was the real-life personification of their character.

"One of the most exciting elements in this movie is Beyoncé," declares producer John Lyons.

"She is the real deal," agrees Jay Roach. "It's exciting when you work with someone you know is about to launch the biggest career. She is absolutely a movie star; she is hilarious, she can sing and dance, she can handle drama and has an emotional sweep, even in a comedy like this. She can manage giant production numbers and big broad comedy, but she has some beautiful, subtle performances where she just reacts. On screen she is electric; it's like watching Lucille Ball, or Cameron Diaz when she first did The Mask."

"In my wildest dreams, I never thought I would be in an ‘Austin Powers' movie," Knowles says with genuine modesty, "especially as my first feature film appearance. I loved the first two ‘Austin Powers' movies. I could never imagine that I would meet and work with all these wonderful, talented people. I was really nervous at the beginning but everyone in the cast and on the crew made me feel at home and now I feel like part of the family."

"Mike Myers has his ear to the ground in an almost psychic or prescient way when it comes to pop culture," notes Lyons. "He's always way ahead of the curve; years ago he was completely aware of the hip-hop culture and the impact it was beginning to have on music, movies, clothing, everything. So once he decided we weren't going to the ‘60s in this film, but to the ‘70s, he wanted to dip into the juicy, fun world of Black exploitation movies. Even before the script was written, he expressed wanting a leading lady a la Pam Grier.

"Timing is everything," Lyons continues. "Just as I had this initial conversation with Mike, MTV aired the hip-hop opera ‘Carmen,' where I saw Beyoncé. I was knocked out; I couldn't believe how good she was. I didn't know anything about her as an actress; I just assumed, given her age, she had never acted. She was only 19 and I later discovered that she'd also never rapped before, but she had such authority and joy on camera, it seemed effortless. I knew immediately that Mike and Jay had to see her."

Before coming in to read for a screen test for the filmmakers, Knowles rented every Blaxploitation film she could get her hands on and re-watched the two previous "Austin Powers" films. Rather than dressing in period wardrobe and make up to impress the production team, she decided to forego the costume effect and instead adopted what she felt was Foxxy's A-T-T-I-

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