Jamie Foxx on Working With Bryan Stevenson to Accurately Portray Walter McMillian | Close Up


(soft music) – Jamie, you played a real life character. When you’re playing that role, how much do you have
to be faithful to him? – The first thing that
helped me was aesthetically. We are part of the same tribe in a sense, our cheekbones, the diamond shaped head, that haircut that he had, I
had that in the 80s as well. So aesthetically, we
were ahead of the game. I didn’t have a chance
to see him actually alive but I had to sorta like
piece things together through what people were saying. And then talking to Bryan Stevenson, and hearin’ him talk about–
– He’s a real life attorney. – He’s a real life attorney.
– That the film is based on. – Who you know, goes and
meets this guy on death row and finds out all these horrible things. He’s on death row without a trial. They say he killed a white woman in a city that he’d never been in. And he couldn’t believe that this existed. But he told me how Walter was. He felt like, since I’m in this situation, I might as well do
everything I can to help. So when you see in the
movie when he’s talkin’ to all the prisoners and
everything like that, tryin’ to keep up their moral,
these guys on death row. So I took that as the spirit of it and then it was a matter
of, the vernacular, bein’ in Alabama, and the
way they talk like that. The way they say they thangs and you know. And to make that not be caricature like. I remember Michael B. Jordan,
listen, nah don’t do that. Because it started
soundin’ like somethin’, where we really couldn’t understand me. So we sorta dialed that in. So sometimes you have to rely
on the people that are around you to say, what makes the most sense. (soft music) – You shot in a real life prison? – Yeah.
– Right. Those prison scenes are phenomenal. They’re really incredible. Did you think–
– Yeah, the one moment when the cuffs was bein’ put on me and they had a guy who was
part of the prison system, who wasn’t part of the movie, yeah you gotta squeeze it tighter. Squeeze it tighter
’cause he’s a bigger one. Squeeze it tighter. – There was a couple
times I’m like hey man, don’t squeeze it, don’t,
they’re tight enough. You know what I’m sayin’? So he doesn’t know that
he’s saying something that is taking me come out these cuffs. But that’s his everyday life. We become so used to it too ’cause we talkin’ to Bryan
Stevenson, talkin’ about changin’ the perception because
the perception kills us. It’s like, the real I don’t
wanna go see somebody in jail is because I don’t wanna get used to that. But so many people are just
used to seein’ their father, their brother, their mothers in jail. And the next thing you know,
we start rappin’ about it. We should rap about bein’ in jail ’cause we don’t have any other
thing, this is all we see. So it’s a tough thing. (soft music) The movie process, it’s
a little bit different if you know what I mean. It’s like. – You mean from the theater or? – Not even that, just like,
when I was on Any Given Sunday, I remember Oliver Stone,
when I first auditioned, was like, you’re horrible,
when I auditioned. And I was like why? Because I was television actor. So everything I did was loud, yeah, so, you better understand this with
the football in the air man. (laughing) And he’s like, (mumbling)
get the fuck outta here. – Oliver can be tough. – Oliver can be tough. – No but I learned from that toughness. Meaning like, when he finally
decided to make the decision for me to be the lead,
he still would grill me. He said that’s not it,
that’s not it, that’s not it. Like workin’ with Quentin Tarantino, and I watched some actors struggle because the set was like, it was heavy. I mean you had Samuel
Jackson here, you had Leo. I mean there was some juggernauts,
you know what I’m sayin’, come on mother fuckers, say that shit. (wheezing)
And the dude was tryin’ to say come on, come on get it. And the guy was tryin’ to get his line and I watched Quentin Tarantino go to him, no it’s okay, everything’s
fine, just say the line. And I was like, damn, this shit
ain’t gonna work out right? But then you see the movie. (laughing) I said god damn! And Quentin said, all I need is one. Even workin’ with Christophe, Christophe, watchin’ him work, I learned
a little bit more about movie. I watched him fold a paper. This mother fucker wrote on the thing and was just supposed
to put it in his pocket. It seemed like it took
him forever to do it. (chuckling) It was nothin’ else existed
but that moment right? Christophe Waltz’S
process says, wasn’t that I’m gonna have all of
these thing memorized and do all of these things at once. He would give you these,
calm yourselves gentlemen! One more time. Calm yourselves gentlemen,
I am but a weary traveler. Wait, wait. And we were watchin’ him and Leo was like. (laughing) I said Leo, you think he got it? He’s got some pal. (laughing) Just keep watchin’, some shit is goin’ on. And you see all these
little bits of things and then all of a sudden
in the movie, boom. Calm yourselves gentlemen. I was like oh shit. And then, I’d like to thank the academy. (laughing)

54 Replies to “Jamie Foxx on Working With Bryan Stevenson to Accurately Portray Walter McMillian | Close Up”

  1. No shade to other actors that are more reserved and shy, but I love actors like Jamie Foxx…so much charisma and no interview with him will ever be boring.

  2. Hollywood reporter..We really enjoyed watching the previous episodes of the roundtable "Full episode " , I think it is much better than the new short videos

  3. Jamie Foxx is talent out of this world… a really good comedian, also does stan-up comedy shows, an acadamy award winner actor, AND A SINGER… what the fuck

  4. Jaime Foxx is by far, the most entertaining interview subject. He needs to be included in every acting roundtable session out there 😅

  5. Buffy, Wanda, and the Stud Boy. Where did the years go?

    btw, they couldn't get De Niro a booster seat or some old phone books to sit on?

  6. So we have 2 literal living legends, 2 generational icons, a young star who’s redeeming himself and an upcoming powerhouse… every round table should be this diverse

  7. The small anecdote about Waltz taking his time to fold a piece of paper is the greatest acting lesson anyone on this round table has given. To get a script that says *reads paper, puts it in pocket*. Most actors tendency would be to rush through it. The camera is rolling, everyone’s watching, you just gotta read a piece of fuckin paper and put it in your pocket. But the pressure of being on set and having the crew an everything all around you & then the nerves – it’ll make you rush. But what Waltz does is he goes through each and every step of what it would be like to actually pull a piece of paper out, read the information your character needs from it, & then (in character), place it back in your pocket.

    I’m not saying this small moment is why he won the Oscar, but that small moment is a huge indicator of what a great actors work looks like.

  8. Can't WAIT to watch this full round table! So many Deep and hilarious moments just in this clip right here. Love Jamie. Love how multi-talented he is.

  9. I would love to have half of Jamie Foxx skills to get into a GREAT conversation like this one. He is so engaging, makes it look easy 🙂 Great actor in this Roundtable. Waiting for the full episode.

  10. I still thinks he got screwed back in 2008 for his performance in “the soloist”. He was phenomenal and wasn’t even nominated.

  11. Does anybody know how to find the artist of the music in the intro/title sequence of these videos? Or know of similar songs / artists / genres I could search? Thanks!

  12. Jamie Foxx name dropping some hot ones, Oliver Stone, Quentin Tarantino.
    Bye the way, Jamie is way older than Shia hahahhahaa

  13. He brings up a good appointment about how subjective "good" acting is. Like we only see what the director/editor allows us to see. It could have been a horrible scene and took 30 takes to complete but when we watch the movie it appears as if it was just one smooth perfect scene.

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