PAGE 8

Oprah: Do you think all people are created equal?

Jamie: No. If that were true, there'd be no poverty, no shortcomings.... We're all energy. Some people are stronger forces than others.

Oprah: I love that. That's what I know for sure. Do you think about how you can best use your energy force in the next five, ten, or 15 years?

Jamie: I leave the door open. I never planned to win an Oscar. When I auditioned for Ray, I was just thinking about what a great project it would be.

Oprah: How do you approach acting?

Jamie: I completely step into the role. I'm working on Miami Vice right now, and the minute I was told I had to lose weight, boom, the weight was gone. When you take on a role, there's no formula; you just have to keep working until you perfect the characterization.

Oprah: Who taught you that?

Jamie: Cats like Will Smith. He once told me, "Don't leave anything to chance."

Oprah: Were you acting during your years on In Living Color, when you were performing the Ugly Wanda sketches?

Jamie: That was just fun. But you know what Keenen Wayans taught me? He said, "Take this time to work on your acting skills. Even in those little 30- or 40-second Ugly Wanda sketches, there's acting. You've gotta make people care."

Oprah: You're 37. Do you think the world is a better place than it was 20 years ago?

Jamie: The world is fragile right now. When I was a child, you needed education to have power. Now anything goes.

Oprah: How do you define manhood? I don't think you're a man until you're at least 32. Do you agree?

Jamie: No. I've had to be a man since I was 12 or 13. I had a job. And I was playing the piano for people twice my age. Handling responsibility is what makes a man a man.

Oprah: I once talked with a man on my show who said something I'd never heard: "Every father has a dream for his family." He believed that most men worry about meeting family responsibilities.

Jamie: I worry. When I make decisions, I'm not just thinking for myself.

Oprah: I can't imagine what it's like to be you—to drive down the street and have women wearing their panties on their head for you.

Jamie: That's the easy part. What's tough is developing the backbone to challenge other men when you know they're doing wrong.

Oprah: But are the panties a good thing?

Jamie: A great thing! I'm not going to sit here and say, "As a matter of fact, Oprah, I detest the panties."

Oprah: But after a while, doesn't that get old?

Jamie: No! A man doesn't want to lose his mojo. I just have to regulate myself. It takes discipline. When Bill Clinton messed up, I thought, Wow, dude, you couldn't handle the panties. That's why there will always be an asterisk by his name. You've got to be able to navigate the panties.

Oprah: Do you think about getting married?

Jamie: Of course.

NEXT STORY

Next Story

Comment

LONG FORM
ONE WORD