The actor and singer, Jamie Foxx, separates himself from the mould through his determination to emerge stronger and improve in everything that he does. Largely through perseverance and willpower alone. Born in Texas as Eric Marlon Bishop, Foxx has attributed his success to his grandmother who had raised him in a Black community with strong moral and ethical values.
A top student, he had received a scholarship to the United States and, in doing so, had changed his name to Jamie Foxx in order to maintain a gender ambiguity that would lead him to be called to performer first.
The name was a tribute to the black comedian Redd Foxx and, with a successful run in the comedy industry, he first debuted in the film Toys, earning a name for himself with a lead role in The Truth About Cats & Dogs. It was not until 2004 that Foxx was nominated for the role of the Best Supporting Actor in Collateral, before taking home the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance in 2004 film Ray.
With a successful career and wonderful films to his name, Jamie Foxx has been the epitome of talent, delivering incredible performances, always managing to get under the skin of the character skilfully. As this actor turns 54 today, we’re revisiting one of his best films currently available on Netflix — the brilliant Baby Driver.
Directed by Edgar Wright (Last Night in Soho, Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz etc), the film is widely regarded as one of Foxx’s best. Though it may not stand up as well to his impeccable role of Ray Charles in the eponymous biopic, there is something special about this flick.
Orphaned at a young age and with an innate love for music, Baby is the go-to getaway driver for the criminal mastermind Doc while he carries on various heists. Baby’s job is to safely get his band of delinquents, Buddy, Bats and Darling, in and out of each place with the appropriate soundtrack playing in the backdrop. However, having fallen in love with Debora, Baby no longer wants to continue living a life of crime and wishes to move on. Yet, Doc has different plans for him.
Raw and original, Wright’s work has been praised by critics for its sheer brilliance and masterful craftsmanship. Jamie Foxx starred as one of Doc’s sadistic and vicious cronies who is devoid of human empathy. While Wright was not sure if Foxx would like to play a supporting character, Foxx was left fascinated by the artistic value of the film. With Quentin Tarantino’s support, he was onboard Wright’s project and modelled this character based on a longtime friend at a LA comedy club.
It’s a classic role for Foxx and deserves re-watching whenever you have the chance.