Icons / July 2018

Jamie Foxx goes Off Script

Given what you read about Hollywood stars, one might expect that a chart-topping, Oscar-winning, silver-tongued, good-looking comedic genius would, in reality, not live up to the sum of his parts.…

To watch an interview with Jamie Foxx is to understand what it is to feel your sides split with laughter. Full rupture, ribs blown out, eyes leaking, facial muscle pain situation. I challenge you to watch “Wheel of Musical Impressions with Jamie Foxx” on Youtube, which he performed on The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon, and not trouble your pelvic floor muscles into sparing you a puddle of blushes. His comedy timing, his unflappable flow, his incredibly nuanced impressions combine to create a perfect funny storm, all delivered with a humble confidence that is hard not to envy. Yet being the joker has been Foxx’s life since growing up in a small segregated town in Texas, where at school he would be used as a class reward:   

“Yes, that was back in Ms. Reeves’ 3rd-grade class. I was always a disruptive kid so she told me that I needed to calm down. She said that if I behaved she would let me tell jokes that I learned watching Johnny Carson on the Tonight Show to the other kids in the class. In fact, I’m about to go back out on a stand-up comedy tour so I’ve been practising a lot. I’ve always had that ability. When I was a little kid, the only TV in our house was in my bedroom so I would stay up watching television, impersonating the jokes that I would see.”

Today, as in 3rd grade, Jamie Foxx has a seemingly innate talent to slap smiles on people’s faces, as evidenced by Grey Goose Off Script (greygooseoffscript.com), a new web mini-series he hosts, in which he interviews Hollywood stars in his signature playful and teasing manner, opening up as close to the real-life sides of the likes of Denzel Washington, Benicio del Toro, Melissa McCarthy and Chadwick Boseman, as a public audience is likely to see. Sat on a purple crushed velvet sofa in the back of a spruced up studio trailer, one gets the impression that what you see is what you get with Foxx: an astonishingly grounded and humble human being despite the fame, wealth, and accolades he has piled up for fun during his career that spans film, music, TV, stage and comedy.

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Ryan Thompson