Dec. 7, 2006 — -- Beyoncé has the marquee billing, but it's her "Dreamgirls" co-star Jennifer Hudson who's getting the Oscar buzz -- and some say a rivalry is brewing.
Hudson -- a former "American Idol" contestant -- gets to sing the big show-stopping number "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going." And even though Beyoncé has more screen time, many say she's overshadowed by the newcomer.
Beyoncé acknowledges Hudson's breakout performance. But the 25-year-old singer accuses the media of manufacturing an on-set controversy as the film nears its Dec. 15 premiere.
"It's an ensemble cast. I knew that going in, and I was fine with that, because I'm not doing this to become a star or prove that I can sing," Beyoncé says.
"I've already won nine Grammys and everyone knows that I can sing, so I did this mainly to prove that I can act."
In "Dreamgirls," Beyoncé and Hudson are singers in an all-girl group modeled on the Supremes. The girls -- Deena (Beyoncé), Effie (Jennifer Hudson) and Lorrell (Anika Noni Rose) -- are close friends until they're discovered by Jamie Foxx, a showbiz impresario who bears similarities to Berry Gordy of Motwon Records.
Effie is the better singer. But the spotlight is thrown on Deena because she's prettier, and her voice is better suited for crossover success with white audiences.
Hudson's character eventually leaves the group, though her voice does not go unheard.
When "Dreamgirls" debuted on Broadway in the early 1980s, the part of Effie turned Jennifer Holiday into a major star. Many are predicting the same for Hudson, who was feted earlier this year as "Female Star of Tomorrow" at ShoWest, an annual meeting of film exhibitors.
Interestingly, to win the part of Effie, Hudson beat out more than 700 hopefuls -- including Fantasia Barrino -- the girl who beat her to become the third season champ of "American Idol."
"She pulled it off and she's incredible," Beyoncé says. "She's sweet, and she deserves it … she's gifted. I just hope she maintains that same sweetness.
"It's just so unfortunate that once again, the media is stirring up things and it's because we're women. You don't hear Jamie is jealous of Effie. You hear that I'm mad and why would I be mad?"