Jamie Foxx is a true polymath. A man with so many strings in his bow he could probably run an archery school in his spare time. And the best archery school at that; everything this 50-year-old Texan touches is done with aplomb.
There’s the acting. Notably the bad-ass lead in Django Unchained and the small matter of an Academy Award for his performance as Ray Charles in Ray. For most men that would be more than enough but Foxx does not stop there.
On top of his acting, he is an accomplished singer-songwriter, producer, and stand-up comedian. We’ve always marvelled at how Foxx juggles all of his projects and talents, while seemingly managing to have a healthy social life, and being an all-round gentleman to boot.
We sat down with him to find out how he does it…
What's your signature look? Something in your wardrobe you can't go without?
“I can’t go anywhere without my shades. I started a sunglasses company called Prive Revaux — fly and affordable — only $29.95 so you don’t have to break the bank.”
What drink do you always order at the bar?
“Always a Grey Goose Moscow Mule! I actually had the chance to create my own version of the cocktail for OFF SCRIPT [Foxx’s collaboration with Grey Goose, in which he talks with Hollywood’s most beloved talent] – it’s called ‘The Golden Goose.’
“I just gave the classic mule recipe a little extra twist by adding a dash of passion fruit. It’s been a big hit on the set of the show!”
What can you never travel without?
“All my chargers. My phones and laptop are always out of battery!”
What would you tell your 20 year old self?
“Take your career more seriously. Up until receiving an Oscar nomination for Ray, I had been going out and partying a lot. So when I finally received that first nod from the Academy, I got a call from Oprah asking me to come to her house, because she wanted to have a talk with me.
“When I arrived, Sidney Poitier was there. He told me he was concerned with how much messing around I had been doing and that he wanted to give me something: the gift of responsibility and focus. That was truly a pivotal moment for me and made me look at my career in a whole new way.”
What projects are you working on right now that are exciting you the most?
“I recently completed my directorial debut called All-Star Weekend. It’s coming soon and I’m excited for everyone to see it. It’s about two guys, one who loves Steph Curry and the other who loves LeBron James, and they’re trying to make it to the All-Star Game. I called all of my friends to come be in it with me.
“I have Robert Downey Jr, Jeremy Piven, Gerard Butler, Benicio Del Toro, Eva Longoria – everybody’s in it. I’m really proud of the work we all did, and I think everyone will love it. I’m also about to start shooting Just Mercy with Michael B. Jordan down in Atlanta. It’s a true story, based on a book “Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption.” I play a death row inmate and Mike is playing the lawyer that defends my character.”
How do you juggle so many projects - music, film, comedy - how do you keep organised?
“I have so many ideas that I want to bring to the world- I love to work. Slowing down and taking things one day at a time, and really making sure to take time to enjoy each moment – whether I’m working on music or film or comedy is how I live my life.”
How can you spot a good film project before you begin?
“For me- it’s all about great storytelling. If the script is good, you know it’s going to be a great experience. And same for the people attached- if the director and other actors are people that inspire me, I know it’s going to be special.”
What's been the highlights of the Off Script project?
“The whole series has been a highlight, but I have to admit I was especially excited to interview Denzel Washington! I’ve known him for years, but having him be a part of the series sort of solidifies what we’ve been trying to do.
“D is an icon, so it was amazing to just sit with him and soak up what he had to say. He also was a great name to have attached to the project for when we approached other people. Once D was in, getting everyone else to say yes was easy!”
What questions always provoke a great answer?
“I love finding out what people did before they became famous. Denzel was a garbage man before he made it; Jeremy Renner was a makeup artist before becoming an actor.”
What have you learned from the project?
“I was surprised how humble all of our guests were. Everybody that we have interviewed are juggernauts. These are some of the greatest actors and actresses in the world and they were all so down to earth. It was refreshing. With Denzel, he was like, “I was nominated for an Oscar, but I don’t remember which movie.””
Catch Jamie Foxx’s interview series with the best-of-the-best Hollywood has to offer, Off Script, on YouTube now.
Want something more high octane? Check out our interview with Lewis Hamilton…