“That’s your jail sentence”: Before Medical Scare, $124M Movie Made Jamie Foxx Go Blind With ‘Damaged Eyelids’

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Before Medical Scare, $124M Movie Made Jamie Foxx Go Blind With ‘Damaged Eyelids’

A performer who wants to hit all the right notes in front of the camera must devote a lot of time and effort to their preparation for a major film role. Some actors push the boundaries of conventional acting by going above and beyond to fully embody their roles. Take Jamie Foxx for instance, who is renowned for giving his all to every role he plays on screen.

Jamie Foxx, one of the most well-known names in entertainment, is famous for his versatility and ability to succeed in almost any endeavor. And the one project in which the actor was fixated on is his 2004 biographical musical drama film, Ray.

Jamie Foxx
Jamie Foxx

Also, he did win his first Oscar for that project, after all. But it was not easy for the Toys actor to make the film, which was based on the life of the late singer, Ray Charles.

Read more: “I lied, I guess it was a little weird”: Channing Tatum Did Not Love Jamie Foxx’s Absurd Song Enough to Sing It in Public

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The Dedication Behind Jamie Foxx’s Oscar-Winning Performance in Ray

When it comes to fully committing to their roles, Jamie Foxx is undeniably one such actor. And his portrayal of Ray Charles in the biographical movie Ray demonstrated his extraordinary talent and commitment. 

Foxx went to great lengths to prepare for the role of Ray Charles, one of the most recognizable and influential singers in history, for the 2004 biopic. He claimed to have lost 30 pounds for his role by adhering to a strict diet and exercise routine. According to The New York Times:

“It’s tough when you’re eating really good. There was a period of about four days when I was like, ‘What the hell is going on with my body and my mind?’”

Jamie Foxx in Ray
Jamie Foxx in Ray

But it did not end there. Taylor Hackford (the director) also asked Foxx to have his “eyes glued shut” and wear prosthetic eyelids.

“Imagine having your eyes glued shut for 14 hours a day. That’s your jail sentence.”

Even worse, he claimed his coworkers often forgot that he was blind and would leave him alone after lunch in the mistaken belief that he could find his way back to the set on his own. The actor received astoundingly high praise for his performance in Ray

Read more: “Will Smith, he had his slot sewn up”: Jamie Foxx Admits His Acting Career Would Have Been in Shambles Without Tom Cruise and 2 Other Celebs

Jamie Foxx’s Most Vivid Memory Of Ray Charles

Ray Charles and Jamie Foxx
Ray Charles and Jamie Foxx

Ray Charles, who died on June 10, 2004, had a big hand in the casting of his 2004 biopic Ray. The late singer insisted on meeting Jamie Foxx in person so that the actor who would be playing him could accurately represent him. 

The Stealth actor even competed with Charles on the piano in his audition after their encounter. Taylor Hackford, the director of Ray, claimed that was the day Foxx earned the musician’s respect, but not without some challenges. CS Monitor cited the following statement made by the director:

“Ray didn’t let up on him. He said, ‘Come on, man, it’s right under your fingers. Come on, man.’ The pressure was almost embarrassing.” 

Jamie Foxx won the Best Actor Oscar for Ray
Jamie Foxx won the Best Actor Oscar for Ray

Also read: After Jeopardizing His Acting Career With an Awful Post, Jamie Foxx Finds Comfort With His 51-Year-Old Ex-girlfriend

Foxx was able to communicate with Ray Charles before the singer passed away. He identified some of his favorite and most memorable interactions with his idol in a 2005 Q&A with Rolling Stone.

“Playing the blues with him and him telling me what went on in his life, being an open book when I asked him questions about the women and the drugs and about being so far ahead of his time. I’ll remember how simple he was – there was no ‘star’ thing.”

Foxx noticed from their interactions that Charles was also accepting his mortality:

“I could tell he was getting ready to move on to the next phase of his existence, on the other side.”

It was truly amazing how well he could completely imitate the late singer. At times, it was like watching a young Ray Charles on the big screen. In addition, Ray was financially successful, earning over $124 million globally against a $40 million production budget.

You can rent Ray on Apple TV.

Read more: “You stink, you’re terrible”: Director With 3 Oscars Told Jamie Foxx He Can’t Act, Called Him a Slave to Television

Source- The New York Times

Written by Siddhika

Flights of occasional fantasies, strong opinions, and encouraging hyperbole are what describe her. Literature Honors Graduate and Post-Graduated in Journalism, Siddhika is the Senior Entertainment Writer at Fandom Wire. She is madly in love with the lights, camera, and action sector. You would find her buried under printed fiction, heavily influenced by dark humor.

She has also written freelance pieces for other sites, including Indian Express, India Today, and Outlook Group.

Insta: @Moodydivaa