Beyoncé contributed a song to the Great Gatsby soundtrack, and I worked with her quite intensely some years ago on the Academy Awards. When I met her, I was struck by her warmth and her humility; she was surrounded by family and was always family-oriented. For the Oscars, she had to learn some extremely difficult choreography, and she just had that incredible work ethic where she was in the door, hit the number, let’s go, let’s work. Just work.
When all the work is done, she can step onto a stage and draw every single person in the audience into an intimate experience. No one has that voice, no one moves the way she moves, no one can hold an audience the way she does. And she keeps growing and evolving in the ways that she expresses herself as a singer, as a performer and now as a mother.
She and Jay Z are the royal couple of culture, and she is the queen bee. She’s gone beyond being a popular singer, even beyond being a pop-cultural icon. When Beyoncé does an album, when Beyoncé sings a song, when Beyoncé does anything, it’s an event, and it’s broadly influential. Right now, she is the heir-apparent diva of the USA — the reigning national voice.
Luhrmann’s new film, The Great Gatsby, comes out May 10
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