"It was cool," he says. "I was kind of going through some things myself, trying to get a record out. And when you meet these guys who are executives, sometimes they can be a little bit ruthless. The way I looked at the character, Curtis had to be unforgiving and as dark as he could be."
With an Oscar®-winning actor opposite her, the set became a learning experience for Beyoncé. "It was amazing to watch Jamie," she says. "I learned so much from him. When it's time for him to become the character, he just completely transformed. He helped me out a lot because he would do improvs ... he knew just what to say to get the right reactions."