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Oscar-Winner Jamie Foxx Talks About His Supporting Role in "Jarhead"

Jamie Foxx on "Jarhead," His Oscar Win, "Dreamgirls," and "Miami Vice"


Oscar-Winner Jamie Foxx Talks About His Supporting Role in

Jamie Foxx in "Jarhead"

© Universal Pictures
Jamie Foxx Explains His Decision to Take a Supporting Role in “Jarhead:” “You know what? I think, in this situation, you look at Sam Mendes -- to get a relationship with Sam Mendes -- I think it was worth all of that because [he's] an Oscar-winning director. We had such a great time doing the film and in the future - you know, we had a good time - so let's do some other things.

Like I said at the time, you really don't know what…nobody really knew what ‘Ray’ would do. ‘Ray,’ at one point for a while, didn't have a home. You know, so it was like, ‘We gotta get crackin. We gotta get movin.' We had to get our hustle on - and this was a great hustle - because it's a good book. It's meat on the bone. It's not contrived. It's doesn't look like I went to go try to get all the money and stuff right after the Oscars.

…You stay in that vein of where - because I don't want it to look like, ‘Okay, I'm Johnny Carson now,’ because I've always enjoyed being the Ed McMahon. Ed McMahon has always been the coolest spot and what I mean by that is like, Will Smith is Johnny Carson. Tom Cruise is Johnny Carson. And I'm like, ‘Ho-ho-ho. Yeah, ho ho.’ It's been great, you know? So winning the Oscar's kind of like Ed McMahon when he got ‘Star Search.’ It's like, ‘Oh, you got your own thing!' So, you know, it's all good.”

Jamie Foxx Recalls the Vibe on the Set After He Won the Oscar for “Ray:” “It was great, man. It was great getting back to the set because those young guys were like, ‘Yo man, how was it?' And I was like, ‘You know, well, I really felt that…’ And they were like, ‘No, no, who was there?' [laughing] And I was like, 'Aw man, it was Clint Eastwood and, you know, it was Meg Ryan, it was CRAZY!'

It was fun with those guys and I think it's fun with me having something like that because when you look at other Oscar-winners like Halle [Berry] or Denzel [Washington], you know, that's like, ‘Wow!’ You know, that's kind of, ‘Hey, they won.’ But with me, you know, like I was down in Miami right after at Wet Willie's, crackin' jokes... I'm able to talk about things to those guys that maybe some of the other Oscar-winners couldn't talk about it. So, I was giving them stories -- especially about the after-parties.”

Jamie Foxx Says “Jarhead” Isn’t a Message Movie: “I don't think there’s necessarily a message, but I think it was great to see the different views of how it all works. When you look at these guys and the job that they have to do, Staff Sergeant Sykes, he was trying to explain to them simplicity. He was making it simpler. ‘This is what you do. If you don’t do this you’ll get killed.’

A lot of times - since we’re in Hollywood and we drink cappuccino and we go to brunch - we think a lot. And a lot of these guys are from places where they don’t think a whole lot. It’s like my friends when they come from Texas, they go, ‘Man, why y’all always talking? Man, why don’t you all be quiet?’ And then when you do go to Texas, what do you see in Texas? You see somebody on the porch not saying anything. So that was what was in this movie.

Like Jake [Gyllenhaal] and I when we first started doing it, it’s like we think, ‘Wow, don’t they feel bad?’ But being in the military, it is a simple life. It just happens that war breaks out so it complicates it a little bit. But it’s a simple way of thinking is what Staff Sergeant Sykes is trying to get across.”

Jamie Foxx on Life on the Set of “Jarhead:” “It’s camaraderie and it was like if you allow yourself to be in those characters and you allow yourself to get into things of these guys, even though they were shooting blanks, they still wanted to make it look as if they were the best at what they do. You had a healthy amount of competition, healthy amount of that, and that’s what it’s all about.

I think that when you look at the Marines over there, ex-Marines, Marines that are in the Corps, they have sort of like a social club in a sense. They were talking about things that were pertaining to what if this happened, what if that happens? You find your way. You find your way to hang and you find your way of keeping things interesting. There’s always interesting people that you meet that are from different parts of the world that you bag on and dump on, stuff like that. So it was a lot of fun.”

Did Filming “Jarhead” Affect His View of Marines? "No, that’s what I’m talking about. See, you’re away from it. I think it’s your demographic [is what] it really comes down to. I mean, when I talk to my friend who’s a black guy, he says, ‘Yo man, I think he got ‘em dawg.’ I say, ‘What?’ ‘That Saddam, man, he got the weapons of mass destruction.’ They believe it. I said, ‘No, I don't know. I don't think so. I don't know.’"

Page 2: Jamie Foxx on the Marines, "Dreamgirls," "Miami Vice," and Biopics He Finds Interesting

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