Etta girl! Beyoncé is a smash in ‘Cadillac Records’
by LAURA SCHREFFLE, New York Daily News
At last! Beyoncé’s star turn as singer Etta James hit the silver screen Monday night at a Flatiron district premiere that had celebs gushing and fans screaming.
“Cadillac Records” documents the rise and demise of Chess Records, the label that launched the careers of James, Muddy Waters and rock great Chuck Berry.
Beyoncé swanned in to the AMC Loews theater on E.19th St. wearing a floor-length Zuhair Murad black beaded dress with a train and huge diamond Lorraine Schwartz earrings.
As the singer-actress walked the red carpet in her Stuart Weitzman heels, Beyoncé’s stylist gushed, “It didn’t actually take her long to get dressed tonight!”
A throng of fans ran down the street screaming her name and crying as the singer arrived.
It’s not just a good review of her dress that Beyoncé is hoping for. She has put her all into portraying the jazz diva, who’s still performing at age 70.
“I gained 15 pounds; I tried to make a physical as well as emotional transformation,” Beyoncé said in one recent interview. “I don’t take it for granted, and I work very hard with my acting coach.”
She also had fun playing James – and sings a cover of her signature song, “At Last.”
“The most fun thing about playing Etta was using all the profanity I wanted and not getting in trouble for it!” Beyoncé told the Daily News last night.
Her co-stars gave Beyoncé – who also got kudos for her role in 2006’s “Dreamgirls” – a big thumbs up.
Singer-actor Mos Def, who plays Berry, called Beyoncé a “class act, A-plus.”
“Beyoncé knocked it out of the park. She killed it,” said Gabrielle Union. Other co-stars include Adrien Brody, Jeffrey Wright and Cedric the Entertainer.
Rapper Akon said he was stunned at how Beyoncé got her bangin’ body back so quick.
“She gained 15 pounds to play this role and has lost it all,” said Akon, who admitted he “likes her both ways.”
“She is absolutely gorgeous,” he said. “I was shocked at how quickly she lost the weight. She’s incredible.”