Jamie Foxx: ‘Every single thing in my life is built around race’
NY Daily News: Oscar-winning actor Jamie Foxx, snubbed this week during the Golden Globe nominations for his leading role in the upcoming slavery-era revenge fantasy “Django Unchained” says “every single thing in my life is built around race.”
“Django Unchained,” directed by Quentin Tarantino, features Foxx as a freed gun-toting slave on a revenge mission to hunt the men who sold his wife (played by Kerry Washington) to an evil slave owner (played by Leonardo DiCaprio). The movie, scheduled to open Christmas Day, is already generating controversy for its indelicate, and at times campy, treatment of slavery, as well as the amount of times the N word is used (by some counts, the word is used more than 100 times throughout the film).
In an interview in the December-January issue of Vibe, Foxx discussed how race plays into his job as an actor and how the movie is likely to be perceived among different racial communities.
“When I get home my other homies are like how was your day? Well, I only had to be white for at least eight hours today (or) I only had to be white for four hours,” Foxx told Vibe. “Everything we do is that. When you’re talking about the script, of course it’s going to be controversy,” he added.
Foxx says he’s anticipating some pretty sharp reactions to the movie, especially from the black community. “As black folks we’re always sensitive,” Foxx said. “As a black person it’s always racial. I come into this place to do a photo shoot and they got Ritz crackers and cheese — I’ll be like, ain’t this a b—-. Y’all didn’t know black people was coming. What’s with all this white s—? By the same token, if there is fried chicken and watermelon I’ll say ain’t this a b—-? So, no matter what we do as black people it’s always gonna be that. Every single thing in my life is built around race. I don’t necessarily speak it because you can’t.”
The movie, conceptually at least, is not unlike Tarantino’s last revenge fantasy, “Inglourious Basterds,” in which a group of Jewish American soldiers hunt down Nazis. But Foxx is certain “Django Unchained” will be received differently.
“I told (Tarantino), black people watch a movie different than white folks. When you watch (‘Inglourious Basterds’), Jewish people have a more quiet response. [WHISPERS]’I can’t believe they did that.’ When black people don’t like something it’s like: [LOUDER]’Ay dawg, why Olivia Pope went down like that. That s— is f—– up.’
“Because there’s certain things that we watch as black people that if we don’t agree with it, we not only turn off the movie but we turn off that person,” Foxx added. “When we feel like the character was compromised by the white establishment.”
But despite the controversy, Foxx maintained that it’s important for Hollywood to continue to make movies about slavery. “Every two, three years there is a movie about the Holocaust because they want you to remember and they want you to be reminded of what it was,” Foxx said. “When was the last time you seen a movie about slavery?”
Well I guess he should make it all about race. After all, about this movie he says, “I get to kill all the white people in this movie! How great is that?”
Imagine living your life focused on your race or gender? How utterly miserable one would be in seeing your life through just one prism? I doubt MLK, Jr. would approve.