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Miami Vice - Jamie Foxx interview

Jamie Foxx in Miami Vice

Interview by Rob Carnevale

JAMIE Foxx talks about his delight at playing Ricardo Tubbs in Miami Vice as well as the allure of the original television series…

Q. What did you think of the original series and did any of the fashions influence your dress sense back then?
A. In America, that was the thing. These guys defined what sexy and cool was. The music, the women… America moves a little slower as far as what we see on TV is concerned so when you saw those guys handling guns and looking good it was really the first time. You saw all of this action and then Michael [Mann] put that music on top of it – it was the hit songs, the hit clothes and everything about it was hot.

Q. How comfortable were you with the weapons you were using by the end of the film? Were you proficient in their use?
A. We did about two and a half months of training. We actually did more training than actual police officers do as far as handling guns is concerned. I watched everyone shoot, including [my co-star] Naomie Harris and she could draw down and really go. There’s something about the temperament of a woman’s hand because the way she was hitting her targets was amazing. But it was about getting comfortable with it so that it made it easier when we came to the action scenes. We knew everything that our weapons were suppposed to do.

Q. You get to drive some fantastic vehicles in the movie. In real life are you into cars? What kind of car do you own and is it very different from your first car?
A. Oh it’s way different than my first car – I had a ’72 Beetle which is far from the car I have now, a Lambourghini. But I’m not really a car person. I just like a car that looks good when I stand next to it.

Q. How nervous do you get before opening big films such as this?
A. You want everybody to go out and check this film out. You want people to go see it for more than one reason. When I approached Michael Mann about doing this film, when I was still very young in my Michael Mann school years, I said that I thought this would be a great opportunity to have a franchise and to bring his filmmaking to more than just the critical acclaim. He could open it up to people that were fans and give them a real good dose of Michael Mann working with a great cast. So of course you want to be successful because that’s what this business is about – it’s not about being a failure.

Q. You’ve worked with Michael Mann on several occasions. What makes him such a unique filmmaker?
A. What makes him unique is the critical acclaim. If you look at any of his movies you see Oscar nominations. When we did Collateral, there was so much going on that year that it got kind of overshadowed. But with his movie-making, what he does and what he brings to it, people want to come to Michael Mann school. I’ve been lucky enough to be a graduate and I’ve been back to get my Masters. But you take on all of what he does so that when you go to other projects you’re so prepared and so far beyond what other projects hold for you. It really helps you as far as your career is concerned.

Q. Are you working with him again?
A. We’re doing a movie called Kingdom which his protégé, Peter Berg, is shooting [Michael Mann has co-written the script and serves as producer]. We’re working on that right now. We have the spirit of Michael with us, but we don’t have as many takes [laughs].

Read our verdict on the film

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