'Dreamgirl' Beyonce Is a Southern Girl at Heart

Ever since Beyonce Knowles burst onto the music scene as part of R&B group Destiny's Child, everyone has known that she can sing.

Now, after being nominated for a Best Actress Golden Globe for her role in "Dreamgirls," the starlet has proved that she can act as well.

Knowles sat down with ABC's Diane Sawyer to talk about her role in the movie on "Good Morning America."

She said that some of the scenes in the movie set in the racially turbulent '60s struck a cord with her.

"There's a scene where we're performing in a club and we're the first African-American group to perform there," she said. "For a second, it felt like we were actually there in the '60s. … Now I'm able to perform wherever I want and people don't think about my race, they just listen to my music."

Calming Nerves and Chowing Down

Starring alongside Oscar-winning actor Jamie Foxx was sometimes nerve-wracking for Knowles.

"In the beginning, I was absolutely nervous," she said. "This was a big deal for me. This was my first dramatic role."

Set in the 1960s and '70s, "Dreamgirls" chronicles the struggles and successes of an African-American girl group.

Knowles stars as Deena, the group's lead singer. Costumes, hair and makeup evocative of the time helped transform the modern-day R&B star into a glamour queen of the past.

According to Andre Leon Talley, Vogue magazine's editor at large, Knowles' look in "Dreamgirls" is important for conveying how important the '60s and '70s were for African-American women.

"It was the first moment when you saw African-American women come to the forefront in the public media and they were projecting what was considered to be the best standards of contemporary elegance at the time," Talley said.

Knowles lost 20 pounds for the role, but she's bounced back to her normal weight. She said chowing down after wrapping "Dreamgirls" was fun.

"For a month, it was the best time of my life," she told Sawyer. "Wanting to gain 20 pounds -- it's like a dream!"

Now, Knowles said she tried to regulate her diet.

"I try to watch whatever I eat. Eat healthy on the weekdays," she said, adding that she sometimes splurged on the weekends.

With "Dreamgirls" ready for release in theaters, Knowles is looking forward to the holidays.

She'll be spending Christmas at her family's home in Houston, where sometimes she's just a regular Southern girl who loves shopping at Wal-Mart.

"When I go to Houston, I do all the things that I did before I was on television," she said. "Sometimes I just want to go to somewhere like [Wal-Mart] and go buy CDs or toothpaste or something like that."

Knowles can't wait for a home-cooked Christmas dinner.

She's hoping that her mom will grant her wish for a fried, Cajun-spiced turkey.

For Knowles, after a hectic year, it's time to celebrate.

"The hard work has paid off," she said.

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