Jamie Foxx - Page 1





12/23/2006


Dreamin' Big with Jamie Foxx

Source: Edward Douglas
ComingSoon.net


For Jamie Foxx, one has to assume that the last two years has been a wild and crazy ride. First, there was all that buzz behind his performance as Ray Charles in the biopic Ray and he won an Oscar for that role, sang on two #1 hits for Twista and Kanye West before releasing his own platinum-selling album, and even was nominated for a Grammy!

After all that, it's not surprising that Foxx gets top-billing in Bill Condon's movie based on the hit Broadway musical Dreamgirls, but really, his role as the unscrupulous record mogul Curtis Taylor Jr. often takes a back seat to performances by the legendary Eddie Murphy and newcomers like Jennifer Hudson and Keith Robinson. Even with his lower key role, Foxx had a lot to celebrate on his 39th birthday last week, just days before the film's exclusive release.

Unlike the craziness behind Ray, Foxx was able to conduct a few more intimate interviews for the movie musical, so ComingSoon.net asked him about this very different role as ensemble player.

ComingSoon.net: When we spoke to Keith Robinson, he said how excited he was to work with you in this movie. How exciting was it for you to work with Eddie Murphy?

Jamie Foxx: Eddie Murphy is the shiznit, man. That's one reason why I wanted to do the movie; I said I gotta be up in here with E-Murphy to see what the hub-bub is all about. It's like almost 30 years he has been on top. He took comedy to another level, he made it sexy, and he made it rock 'n' roll. You know, wearing the leather, diamonds, and the whole thing. He was really hip-hop if you really think about it, how his get-down was at that time. Sometimes, I be staring at him like, "wow this dude is really doing it." I don't know if he even realizes this, but he walked off the stage doing something and the extras starting clapping. He was thrown off by it because what were seeing was, "Okay our Eddie is back." You know what I'm saying? It's a tough thing because Eddie is so great and when he started doing the kid thing you were like -- man where's the dangerous Eddie at? So, like in a sense he's back so it was worth everything man.

CS: Your character is kind of the Berry Gordy character of the movie. Some people, like Diana Ross, have complained that it paints Gordy in a negative way.

Foxx: This is what I tell everybody, it's not Berry Gordy. This is what people don't know about Berry Gordy. One, "Dreamgirls" is not about Berry Gordy. It was loosely built, then they made up this character. Berry Gordy, when they started the record company Motown, there was something endearing about him -- that's why he was successful. There's no way he could've been mean the whole time. He actually did something that nobody does nowadays. He taught the acts how to be eloquent because they weren't going to able to get the black music in the white world unless those guys went out and sung a certain way -- when they were interviewed, interviewed a certain way. They had etiquette class, they taught the women how to sit, and they taught the women how to handle themselves. They taught them business sense, because when you look at all the stars that came from that Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye it was a lot of people that Berry Gordy really helped. The character I'm playing is a mix between the music guys I've met in the past three years. I did a record and they talked to me so crazy when I went to go do my record I said, "Hey, you know what? I got a day job I'll go over and do this and you guys get your mind together." They never got it together because that's what they really were. This one guy told me, "I don't give a damn if you sell one record or a million records, my check stays the same. Jamie Foxx, Jamie Farr -- whoever." "Why you talking like that? I thought I was on your team." So, I took those elements and put it into this movie, and it's not to be Berry Gordy.

CS: Was it fun being part of an ensemble cast?

Foxx: Yeah, to sit back and watch Jennifer, Beyoncé and Eddie get theirs -- that's why I think I had so much more fun on the set. Sometimes, I had to pull my fun back because you know people are like in their characters and I'm like, "What's cracking with it!" Oh sorry, you know you in your thing, it's fun to sit back and watch.

CS: As a performer, you've flexed different muscles, but this one you probably had to use all of them. Was it hard switching gears so much for one movie?

Foxx: I think this character was the most interesting character because people were saying to one of my homies that were watching the screening, "Tell Jamie Foxx I'm gonna slap him for what he did to Eddie and Beyoncé!" And it was like wow -- even Oprah was like, "I don't like it when you're mean." I said, "Oprah that's really not me -- it's Curtis." It's fun to be able to take that character and kind of step back a little bit. I have been kind of shiny, I've been kind of out there, I got an album, I got the movie so this character was an interesting thing. Even with the songs that were chosen for Curtis to sing. I went in to sing the songs one time in the studio and no polishing. I didn't think that Curtis should have the best sounding songs because he's the manager, you gotta show that Curtis is not the best. Curtis can see the dream, but the reason he's so angry is he can't execute the dream. You know those overbearing managers, or those overbearing agents probably had a career in mind they wanted to do and they couldn't do it. So that's why they are so overbearing. He watches Jimmy Early and Deena like, damn they will never scream for me like that -- so in a sense that's his DNA. That's why it was an interesting character to play.

CS: How hard was it switching from the comic moments to the more serious ones?

Foxx: You just got to go get it. You ever got that in you? You just have that go get it time -- I gotta go get this. By being on "In Living Color" you do a thousand characters a day, with this it's the same muscle you just have to pay more attention to it.(....Read More)



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