Oprah’s intervention made me grow up

Jamie Foxx has revealed an intervention from US talk show queen Oprah Winfrey helped him get his life back on track.

The actor told DJ Howard Stern that Winfrey had rebuked his “gallivanting” and had told him he was “blowing it”.

Winfrey, Foxx went on, also arranged a meeting with Sidney Poitier “to make me understand the significance” of being nominated for an Academy Award.

The meeting took place one week before the 2005 Oscars, where Foxx won best actor for playing Ray Charles in Ray.

Foxx, who was also nominated that year for the best supporting actor Oscar, went on to star in Quentin Tarantino’s western Django Unchained.

“You know me, I was going hard,” the 49-year-old told Stern this week during an appearance on the latter’s radio show.

“I’m having such a good time, and I’m not knowing I’m [expletive] up. I’m drinking, I’m doing every [expletive] thing you can possibly imagine.”

“That’s not what you want to do,” Foxx recalled Winfrey telling him in an unexpected phone call. “I want to take you somewhere.”

This led to a visit to Quincy Jones’s house, where he was told by the legendary producer: “You’re doing good, man, we just don’t want you to blow it, baby.”

“We go in the house and there’s all these old actors, black actors from the ’60s and ’70s, who look like they just want to say ‘Good luck, don’t blow it,” he recalled.

One of those present was Sidney Poitier, who told Foxx his portrayal of Charles in Taylor Hackford’s film “had made him grow two inches.”

Foxx said the meeting had taken place on Poitier’s birthday – 20 February – and had made him realise his nomination was “way bigger” than he had originally thought.

“To this day, it’s the most significant time in my life where it was, like, a chance to grow up,” he added.

The actor and musician recently appeared in crime thriller Sleepless and will shortly be seen as a volatile bank robber in action comedy Baby Driver.

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