Before Jamie Foxx stars in the thriller White House Down with Channing Tatum, let's take a trip back to 2004 to the most iconic thriller film of his career, Collateral, which skyrocketed his film career.
As a stand-up comedian and primarily comedic actor, Foxx's character in Collateral as the diffident, wavering cab driver "Max Durocher" was a considerable change of pace for him.
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"Michael Mann (director) calls and says, 'Can you play a cab driver?' I said, 'C'mon man, I do my thing.' He said, 'But can you not do your thing? Can you be indecisive? Can you be plain? Can you be simple? Can you be the guy that really doesn't want anything in life?'" Foxx recounts.
The then-36-year-old entertainer reveals that although he was initially intrigued by the notion of playing a character outside of his niche, it was counterintuitive to him.
"I was like, 'Wow, this is going to be tough!' 'cause in Hollywood you want those parts that are heroic and you want to beat your chest, but can you play the guy with the glasses [who] just says, 'I want to close my eyes and I want all of this bad stuff to go away?' That's what was interesting and intriguing about this character."
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To add to the daunting experience of working outside of his comfort zone, Foxx was also confronted with the fear of squaring off with his co-star Tom Cruise, who played his malevolent role of hit man "Vincent" so vividly that Foxx feared for his safety at times.
"Looking at Tom, there [were] situations where he'd be coming at me and literally we'd be like, 'OK, are they going to tell him cut? 'Cause he's coming at me like it's a little too real right now,'" he admits. "Me and Jada [Pinkett Smith] were looking [at each other saying] 'He is about to kill us for real!'"
Although he felt threatened by Cruise at times, Foxx reveals that he was the ultimate co-star, supporting him constantly, and even showing up to his birthday party to celebrate with him. He also offered him some influential advice.
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"Tom Cruise was doing 'Collateral' and he was flying off to check sites for 'Mission: Impossible III,'" Foxx says in admiration of the diligent actor. "He says, 'Foxx...man, keep on. Don't stop; just keep doing what you do.' That's my new vision. Just keep going."
Watch the full Collateral flashback above, and check out Jamie Foxx in his latest thriller White House Down on June 28.