Jamie Foxx Opens Up About Fatherhood and Family in New Book 'Act Like You Got Some Sense' (Exclusive)

The actor's book, 'Act Like You Got Some Sense,' comes out Tuesday.

Jamie Foxx is baring it all to teach his fans a few things about fatherhood. The 53-year-old actor spoke with ET's Kevin Frazier about penning his first memoir, Act Like You Got Some Sense, and his decision to open up about fatherhood, fame and his roller-coaster relationship with his family

"The book is me," Foxx said. "I went through it with a fine-tooth comb [because] I wanted to make sure if I said something wrong here or something there, I want to make sure I got it. I left it open to be real like it's me [to the readers]. There's no second-guessing."

The no-holds-barred book recounts various tales from Foxx's childhood in the small town of Terrell, Texas, under the care of his beloved late grandmother, Estelle Marie Talley, and his road to fatherhood raising two very independent young women, Corinne and Anelise. Foxx uses his tales of woe and fortune to pass on lessons he has learned along the road to his Oscar-winning career and family; lessons that are chock full of nuggets of wisdom spoken by his no-nonsense grandmother, whose words inspired the book's title.

"See, everybody sees Tyler Perry's Madea -- my grandmother was the first Madea," Foxx jokes, recounting a moment in his childhood where Talley came to defend him as a child. "I did not have a crew when I was growing up. So, something happened --- and you see in the book where they pull some stuff when I am outside -- I can't go inside, I'm crying outside and my grandma said, 'Boy, what's wrong with you?' She said, 'Hold on, put that muumuu on,' and then she said, 'We're about to walk to the house where this just went down.'" 

"Man, she reached in the muumuu and pulled out [.38 Special] and knocked on the door. [Someone] answered the door, she stuck the gun in there and said, 'Listen, this boy is special, OK. He is going places, he is going to be really, really incredible. So, I don't want to have to come back here with this .38 and have to fire it. I raised you,'" he continued, explaining that his grandmother took care of everyone in that neighborhood and people knew who she was. 

"When I saw that with my grandmother, it just made me feel like, 'Man, she is willing to walk through any door to make sure I have what I need to flourish so I can't mess it up.' So, when she said, 'You need to know classical piano because it is going to take you all over the world,' it has. She went to my third-grade teacher and said, 'I know the boy is going to do well in the class because he already got the school curriculum at my house to the eighth grade. Let him tell jokes.' So [the teacher] let me tell jokes in the class on Friday. So, that brings me up to now with my daughters. I make sure that I am the metaphorical muumuu, I am the .38 in a different way. I want to make sure without coddling them, that they have the opportunity to develop and be able to say, 'Hey, I want to be able to do anything I can in the world.'"

It's that mindset that remains throughout Foxx's navigation of fatherhood, from misadventures with being "New Dad" to dealing with the heartbreaking realities of being a busy father. As Foxx explains in his book, juggling the desire to be a successful entertainer with the demands of being a present father didn't always have a happy ending. 

"I'm always going forward. I'm always trying to fix everything," the father of two explained to ET. "There were moments where I was a Disney dad and didn't know it. I was out running trying to make sure everything was great, but I was missing time. So, when I would show up, 'Let's just go to Disneyland, let Mickey Mouse fix anything. The emotional potholes, we'll just fill it with Mickey Mouse.'"

But attempting to fix what he was missing with gifts, surprise trips, or material possessions led to Foxx being told during a therapy lesson that his daughter, Corinne, doesn't like him.

"She said, 'Hear me out -- the Disneyland and all those things was great, but all I wanted...is to kick it with you,'" he recalled. "That made me go, 'Wow. Here she is teaching me now.'"

"[Balancing] party Jamie Foxx and family Jamie Foxx -- it's been a big battle. I remember taking Corinne to a party when she was 13. I liked to invite them because I was able to introduce them to artists -- let them see them in the raw form," the actor shared. "[Have them] meet Uncle Leo and have Drake hold her as a kid [because] what it did was it allowed them to see not only the artist but also the person behind it and the hard work. I made mistakes, not being on time, I learned that in order to parent I had to put discipline on myself. But I wanted them to see me at work so they know what I'm doing."

Foxx commended the now 27-year-old Corinne for allowing him that space to learn and realize his mistakes. "That's something that blows your mind," he said, adding that his eldest daughter taught him that the most he needs as a father is to be present. 

Tune in to Entertainment Tonight on Monday for more of ET's chat with Foxx. His book, Act Like You Got Some Sense, will be released on Tuesday.