Oprah Talks to Jamie Foxx
Oprah: That's good, Jamie.
Jamie: After the Oscars, a hotel invited me and my crew to be their guests. "We'll give you the whole tenth floor," they said, "because we want your stay to shed some good light on our establishment." When I left the hotel and returned, I was told that the entire floor had been seized by the cops. For what? "Because one of your people got into it with his wife." Then everyone was saying, "Jamie Foxx is killing somebody's wife."
Oprah: So that's where those stories came from! There were rumors that you were losing your mind. Turns out it was some of your people who'd lost their minds.
Jamie: Lost! That's why I've got to be careful when I say "we" won the Oscar. Some of my folks couldn't handle that.
Oprah: Not everyone's ready for prime time. That spot has to be earned.
Jamie: Right. I'm in uncharted territory, and while I don't know everything, I do know this: Killing the beast is the most important thing. If I keep my head on straight, who cares what everybody says?
Oprah: Exactly. Would you say your head's on straight, Jamie?
Jamie: Completely. I might be in a Lamborghini at the club, just kickin' it and thinking everything's the same, but it's not.
Oprah: It's not that you change, but that everyone around you does—and they expect you to be different as well.
Jamie: Fame can be overwhelming. I've had people show up at my hotel and say, "God told me to come talk to you."
Oprah: My line is, "Well, God never told me." Do you feel like you have to carry yourself differently now?
Jamie: Around certain people. Someone's always looking to see if I've made a mistake.
Oprah: If you were completely unleashed—Eric Bishop and Jamie Foxx together—would we recognize that person?
Jamie: That is the person you see. There's nothing to unleash, because I don't get off on the beast thing like some people do. I've worked with people who actually enjoy being the worst human being they can be. That's crazy.
Oprah: Are you aware of your power?
Jamie: Sometimes I'm not—and that can hurt me. I just want to be the dude next door.
Oprah: But you're not. Can you believe all that has happened to a little black boy from Terrell, Texas, who endured racial insults almost every day?
Jamie: I can believe it.
Oprah: Is there a mantra or phrase you'd use to describe yourself?
Jamie: I think of myself as concentrated Kool-Aid—the kind in the packet. [Once you stir it up, it changes everything around it.] Hundreds of years ago, the slaves sent a message to a kid named Eric Bishop—a boy they knew could grow up to inspire a generation. I want to do great things with great people.