Could pop sensation Beyonce be moving from Goldmembers to big butts? The award-winning singer has temporarily shelved her acting career to focus on her music, having last appeared on-screen opposite Idris Elba in 2009’s Obsessed. But a new report (from a suspicious source) suggests Beyonce might be eyeing a return to the film industry, with a project that she hopes would get her in the Oscar conversation.
Beyonce is no stranger to award-winning films, collecting a Golden Globe nomination for her work in Bill Condon’s musical adaptation of Dreamgirls. She also circled A Star Is Born for Clint Eastwood, though that fell apart. Now, though, The Sun reports that Beyonce would like to write and possibly star in her own movie. The film would adapt the life of South African woman Saartjie Baartman, who was known in the 1800s as a performer in London freak shows due to her large derriere. A source close to the singer reportedly tells the Sun:
This isn’t inaccurate. While Beyonce has appeared in a number of films, there isn’t a film performance that stands out as her signature role. Not that every major pop singer needs a film role to their name. But for a while, Beyonce went through a stage where it seemed like she really did want to establish herself as a legitimate actress, so this project might not be too far out of reality.
Saartjie Baartman’s life story isn’t a one-note biopic, though. Born in South Africa, the woman was sold to a Scottish doctor who exhibited her in the freak shows of the era because of her enlarged buttocks. Eventually, abolitionists fought on her behalf because they argued that she was being forced to perform a borderline offensive act against her will. Legal actions failed because of a “contract” forged between Baartman and the showman Hendrik Cesar. Baartman later moved to Paris, where she continued to entertain, but later fell into poverty and died in 1815. There’s tragedy in this story for Beyonce to mine. You can see how this might be an awards contender, if handled properly.
While we don’t yet have an official statement from Beyonce’s camp on this project, we’ll continue to track to see if anything develops. What do you think? Are you interested in hearing Saartjie Baartman’s story? And is Beyonce the right person to tell it? Let us know your thoughts below.
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Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Sean created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.