These days, Beyonce is extra picky with the roles she selects. That was the case with Disney's Princess and the Frog, as she refused to audition for the role. Not only that, but BeyonceÌ is keeping things very private these days, refusing to do interviews, and only agreeing to essay style formats, written in her own words.
In the following, we're going to take a closer look at BeyonceÌ's time in the film, Cadillac Records. It was an impactful experience for BeyonceÌ, especially prepping for the role.
Her prep was so noteworthy, that she decided to given up her entire pay to a certain cause. We'll reveal what that was, and which other Hollywood stars decided to give up their entire pay for a role.
Beyonce? Spent Time At The Phoenix House In Order To Prep For Her Role In Cadillac Records
Back in 2008, BeyonceÌ took on the role of Etta James in the film, Cadillac Records. BeyonceÌ also took on the role of executive producer. The film wasn't a huge box office hit, bringing in $8.9 million.
The role was an intimidating one for BeyonceÌ, given that she's extremely different to character she was portraying. When readying herself for the role, BeyonceÌ checked into the Phoenix House.
She recalls the experience, "I never tried drugs in my life so I didn't know about it all," she said. "It was hard to go there. In the beginning I didn't want to offend anyone, I didn't want to ask the wrong questions or seem judgmental."
"They were so honest, though, and I am so thankful. I don't think I could have understood that level of pain or need. What they do there is amazing. I learned a lot about life and myself."
"She was really the opposite of what people’s perception of me is. She was by no means the sweetheart. She was bold and unapologetic and spoke her mind. I didn’t know if I was even ready for a role like this."
The experience turned out to be a positive one for BeyonceÌ, though she did admit to feeling intimidated when performing At Last in front of Etta herself.
"I try not to make eye contact [with the audience] until I start singing. But I saw her. It was intimidating. I started to sing. And maybe a couple of sentences into the song, I did this growl that she’s infamous for, and I saw her body posture change. She nudged her son, like, ”Did you hear that?” And I was like, ”Yes! I got her!”
It was a memorable experience for BeyonceÌ, and she ended up making the kindest of gestures with her pay.
Beyonce? Donated Her Entire $4 Million Salary To The Phoenix House
With a net worth hovering around $500 million, BeyonceÌ has a lot of funds saved up. However, it was still a classy gesture from BeyonceÌ, who decided to give up her pay completely, and donate it to the Phoenix House, given her experience when researching for the role.
Star Magazine explained, "Beyoncé has donated her entire $4 million salary from her new film to help a string of drug treatment centers across America."
While preparing to play Etta James in Cadillac Records, Beyoncé spent several weeks at Phoenix House, a drug rehabilitation center.— Eric Alper ???? (@ThatEricAlper) October 20, 2022
Afterward, she gave her entire $4 million salary to the center.
The publication continued, "The gift by the Houston native was made to Phoenix House, which runs 98 residential and outpatient rehab programs in nine states. She reportedly spent two weeks with patients to research her latest role in Cadillac Records as blues and soul legend Etta James, whose early career was blighted by heroin addiction."
A classy gesture by BeyonceÌ and as it turns out, she isn't the only one out of her peers to refuse a pay for a film project.
Beyonce? Is Far From The Only Actress In Hollywood To Take On A Role For Free
Jennifer Lopez in Hustlers decided to take on the role for free, given that she's never motivated by money. Lopez said, "I did it for free and produced it. Like Jenny From the Block — I do what I love.
George Clooney would also agree to work the film Good Night and Good Luck for $3, given that it was a special project for his father.
"It's a love letter to [his] old man" — because he's "in the enviable position of being able to force studios to make films that they wouldn’t ordinarily make."
Clooney continued, “It’s me saying [to my journalist father], ‘Thanks for setting the bar that high, for believing so strongly in the responsibility of information,’ and taking it to the level where it cost him a lot of things over the years."
Michael Sheen also made the bold decision himself to be a not-for-profit actor, donating his extra funds to support charitable causes.