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 "It was exciting being a guy," Beyoncé says ...

Page 2

 Beyoncé explains exactly how she got her "Freakum" on. …

Page 3

 What went on behind the scenes at the B'Day videos. ...

See B do her best Hova, "reflect" with Shakira and say hello to a ginormous "Kitty" in her B'Day videos. Get 'em all right here!

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MTV: Even so, you're playing different characters. Has your experience in movies helped with that?

"In every video, I kind of created a character — 'OK, who am I now?' — so I wouldn't be the same version of sexy, the same angry person."
Beyoncé: It's definitely helpful that I've done movies. In every video, I kind of created a character — "OK, who am I now?" — so I wouldn't be the same version of sexy, the same angry person. I'm taking risks and trying to reinvent myself. I have different hair colors and styles, and it's been exciting to live vicariously through the directors. The darker hair, I really loved that — I had it in "Dreamgirls," but it was so '60s, so I thought [the dark hair in the video] would be like Deena, but it wasn't.

MTV: "Get Me Bodied" is very '60s in a way — you're bringing back a lot of old-school dances.

Beyoncé: It's kind of like an instructional video, it tells you how to do all the dances — it's modern, it's retro, it's vintage, it's stylized, it's all of those things put together. It's a lot of dances from the '60s, a lot of [legendary Broadway director/choreographer Bob] Fosse movement, Southern movement, Jamaican influences — and the Frug, from "Sweet Charity." That's the inspiration. I love all of that — it's still relevant and it's how many years old? 40?

MTV: And you got to re-unite with Kelly and Michelle.

Beyoncé: And my sister Solange — actually, she helped me write this song. When I wrote it, I said "three best friends" because I was thinking about them. They make me laugh so hard, and we are so silly together. Like, we're trying to pretend that we're fierce, but in between takes, we're laughing [uproariously] at our inside jokes. It really sets the tone of the video, because you feel like you're there for part of the experience.

MTV: You have a different bunch of friends joining you for "Freakum Dress" — and it's so over the top.

"I had to do a video for this song. Everyone wanted to know what a 'freakum dress' was, and you can't really explain it, you have to see it."
Beyoncé: It's probably the most flamboyant video, and the metallic dresses are so beautiful, they added so much color. I had to do a video for this song. Everyone wanted to know what a "freakum dress" was, and you can't really explain it, you have to see it. Everyone has their own version, so we had so many women — of different races, sizes, shapes, ages — because we all have those dresses we pull out when we need to shut it down.

MTV: And we all have those pole-dancing moves — or at least you do in "Suga Mama"! How did you learn to do that?

Beyoncé: I actually rehearsed it with a regular ballet bar and put two of them together — just set them up the opposite way. That's how we came up with the bar being like an arc over my head, but I never could do it full-out until I got on-set. I don't have bars everywhere I am, I don't bring the poles everywhere!

MTV: You're not taking them on tour?

Beyoncé: No! [She laughs.] But I love this song so much, it's funky and sexy and [has] the role reversal, I was able to show a harder side, a cool, tougher side, where I'm in the man's suit and I slowly become a woman. Well, a sexier woman — I'm always a woman.

MTV: In addition to "Flaws and All," it also feels like we get to see the real you in the video for your cover of Des'ree's "Still in Love (Kissing You)."

Beyoncé: I've always loved that song. It gives you this emotion — I don't care who you are, you just feel it. And it meant a lot for me to do this. [The video] feels like something you shouldn't be seeing, like you found a home video. It's very raw: no retouching, no special effects. That's who I am. You can see my soul.

MTV: So why aren't you like that more often?

Beyoncé: You know, I love fashion, I love dressing up, I love glamour, I love the excitement of celebrities. I don't mind changing 20 times in a video, 100 times in a show. But there's a place for it. I'm way different in my everyday life. My personal life and my celebrity life — I've separated them so much it's like two different people. But I'm pretty balanced. I'm over the top and I'm natural.

MTV: It must be tricky sometimes, though, when you're balancing that against the tabloids, the paparazzi ...

Beyoncé: I'm not going to live my life afraid of taking my nephew to the park or going to the grocery store or crying in church, if I feel the need, because someone is going to get a picture. Because I am a real person; because I don't talk about my private life. But I know that the paparazzi are just doing their jobs — people have their jobs, their hustles, and I respect that — and it's something I can't stop. So I live with it. I deal with it. I try to live my life. And the more I keep my celebrity persona separate from the real persona, the more I'm protected, and the people I love are more sacred. I just love what I do, and I'm blessed to do what I love. I don't take it for granted. Sometimes it's a lot of pressure, but who doesn't have pressure? The grass is always greener. If I weren't doing this, I'd be wanting to do this, so I can't complain.

NEXT: Get the lowdown on what went on behind the scenes at the B'Day videos. ...
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Photo: MTV News

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