‘As a Black Person It’s Always Racial’: Django Unchained Star Jamie Foxx Explains Why He Is Sensitive About Being African American
J.J. Anisiobi, Daily Mail (London), December 14, 2012
Jamie Foxx has revealed that he finds himself facing racial challenges in everyday situations of his life.
The African American actor explained during an interview with Vibe magazine that he is always sensitive about his skin colour.
Jamie, 45, admitted that ‘Every single thing in my life is built around race’.
He told Vibe magazine: ‘Cause as black folks we’re always sensitive. 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***h. Y’all didn’t know black people was coming.’
In the same vein he explained that if he turned up to the photo shoot and there was fried chicken and watermelon, he would also be annoyed at the stereotype.
Jamie also admitted that he feels that he must act and talk in a certain way around white people and in his day-to-day job as an actor.
He told the magazine: ‘But the minute I leave my house, I gotta put my other jacket on and say, ‘Hey, Thomas, Julian and Greg.’ And I gotta be a certain person.
‘But 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 was speaking extremely candidly alongside Django Unchained co-stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Kerry Washington, who all defended the Quentin Tarantino directed movie.
The project attracted a lot of negative reactions from prominent African American entertainers such as Tyler Perry.
DiCaprio, 38, who plays a murderous plantation owner said he knew that the film would create controversy because of its slavery themes, but stands by the project proudly.
He said: ‘It is Quentin’s re-creation; this character doesn’t exist. There’s nobody that is documented to do what Jamie’s character has done at the time.’
This is not the first time that Tarantino has been criticized for his use of the n-word, as Spike Lee took issue with its use in the 1997 film Jackie Brown where the controversial director allowed it to be used 38 times.
The latest film, which will open on Christmas Day, focuses on the partnership between a former slave who becomes a bounty hunter who enjoys killing white people in his pursuit for his captured wife.
A screening of the film on Tuesday led to reviews that warn of extreme violence and excessive cursing.
‘Quite naturally, given the historical setting, the N-word gets a heavy workout, by whites and blacks alike. But much more forceful is the cruelty dispensed by the Southern whites, both as punishment and whim,’ a review in The Hollywood Reporter says.
Among the scarring acts are instances when attack dogs are released on a man, and black fighters are forced to fight to the death in an ornate drawing room simply for the entertainment of a white plantation owner.
Foxx has some personal connections to the racial prejudices shown in the film, and during one press event he said that he was frequently faced with the n-word while growing up in Texas.
‘Being called a n***** as a young kid by white people was something I had to deal with,’ Foxx said.
‘Having that done to me I was able to grasp what was going on in the script. When a project becomes magic and special it means that at certain points in the script it parallels your story.’
He is not the only prominent African American to have embraced the sensitive material, as the actor said that a number of his friends including Oprah Winfrey have seen the film and, because they came in braced for the typical Tarantino level of violence, they enjoyed it overall.