Over time Jamie Foxx’s movies have portrayed the impressive level of his versatility. Still, for him to play the legendary Ray Charles in the American Biological drama, “Ray,” Foxx went the extra mile.
Jamie Foxx’s reputation as a versatile entertainer goes before him. And it is well-deserved because he is one talented actor who has put in the work. The same exceptional expertise went into the making of “Ray,” and playing this lead role became a pivotal moment in Foxx’s career.
When Jamie Foxx first came on the project of the biographical movie about the music legend Ray Charles, there were doubts that he would deliver the role. Then, his versatility came into play, and the rest they say is history. Here’s how Jamie Foxx came to be the Hollywood version of Ray Charles.
How Jamie Foxx Bagged The Ray Charles Role
In the 2000s, filmmaker Taylor Hackford knew it was time to bring the inspiring and touching story of musical genius Ray Charles to the big screen. But, he also knew that whoever would bring Charles’ story to life had to know his onions.
The ballot fell on the “Django Unchained” actor, but there were speculations that he might not do the role justice. The reason being that Jamie Foxx’s movies majorly circumvented comedies and action movies.
However, the crew would come to learn that there was more than meets the eye regarding Foxx’s entertainment expertise. Foxx once revealed to NPR that the moviemakers realized that he was trained to play the piano and was a fine singer.
This must have done a good deal of convincing the crew because Charles was a gifted music star and instrumentalist. However, what could have been more convincing, was Jamie Foxx’s ability to embody the whole of Charles’ personality.
He Put In The Work
To say Jamie Foxx did a wholesome job is an understatement because he profoundly impressed Hollywood and the die-hard fans of Ray Charles’ music. But what many would agree to is that there was a great deal of grit behind the scenes.
Foxx did a thorough job of what is now referred to as “understanding the assignment.” During the days he got prepared for the role, Foxx visited Ray Charles. He had been looking to prove himself to the “Georgia On My Mind” crooner.
Speaking with San Francisco Gate, the “Dad Stop Embarrassing Me” actor recalled his encounter with the classical music star. He described visiting Charles as “waiting in a doctor’s office.” Jamie stated:
“Ray walks in and says ‘You know what, man, if you can play the blues, baby, you can do anything. Don’t worry about playing me.’ So he gets on one piano, I get on the other, and we start playing the blues back and forth.”
Foxx explained that auditioning for Charles in person was unlike his other auditions. He knew this was Charles’ way of weighing his ability before he went ahead to tell the icon’s life story.
It was a tough audition at first because Foxx hit the wrong notes a few times, but eventually, he convinced Charles. Foxx glued his eyes shut in subsequent times to fit in Charles’ shoes perfectly.
Foxx glued his eyes shut for an estimated 14 hours per day while on set and maneuvered his way around, mastering Charles’ mannerisms. It was reported that Foxx also lost 30 lbs to fit into the part.
Foxx’s Achievements Through “Ray”
The days of having his eyes shut and experiencing terror paid off excellently when the “Ray” movie became critically acclaimed. “Ray” ultimately became one of the most significant acting roles Foxx took on.
He won an Academy Award for Best Actor In A Leading Role in the 2005 Oscars Award ceremony. The “Ray” movie won about 20 awards, of which Foxx bagged eleven.
For the lead role, he was the recipient of a Critic’s Choice Award, Satellite Award, NAACP Image Award, BAFTA Award, and a Golden Glove Award, among others.
Jamie Foxx’s movies are constant reminders that the star actor is iconic, and “Ray” joined the likes of “Collateral,” “Django Unchained, and “Jarhead” in becoming one of his most significant Hollywood endeavors.