Actor, singer, songwriter, comedian, and producer Jamie Foxx is starring in Soul, a new inspirational movie by Disney’s Pixar Studios, releasing in theaters November 22.
Foxx is one of today’s most talented and versatile performers. He continues to win awards in the worlds of music, television, and film.
In Soul, Foxx stars as Joe Gardner, a middle school band director who has lost his passion for music. As he’s walking and talking on a cell phone on a busy city street, he falls down a manhole in an accident that almost takes his life.
Gardner finds himself in a mysterious world where he meets a soul named 22, voiced by co-star Tina Fey. As a new soul, 22 doesn’t want to go to Earth, but Gardner is determined to find his way back to life on the planet and regain his enthusiasm for music.
Soul’s inspirational, wholesome theme encourages youth to pursue their passions wholeheartedly.
“You want to become the person that you were born to be,” Gardner advises 22. “Spend your precious hours doing what will bring out the real you, the brilliant, passionate you.”
Along their journey through the “Other World,” Gardner and 22 have humorous discussions about life, including its meaning and purpose, and how to make every moment count. The visually-appealing film includes a delightful, jazz-inspired score and beautiful cinematography.
Rated PG, Soul debuts almost six months after the pandemic shutdown postponed its original release date in June. Phylicia Rashad, Angela Bassett, Quest Love, and Daveed Diggs perform other leading characters.
Soul resembles previous films by director Pete Docter, who is known for Monsters, Inc. (2001), WALL·E (2008), Up (2009), and Inside Out (2015).
Foxx started life in Terrell, Texas, in 1967 as Eric Marlon Bishop. After his parents’ divorce, his maternal grandparents, Mark and Estelle Talley, adopted him at seven months old. He grew up playing piano, attending church and Boy Scouts, and entertaining his classmates.
Foxx’s comedy career may have started in the second grade, when his teacher allowed him to entertain the class as a reward for their good behavior. He played basketball and football in high school and later won a scholarship to United States International University in California (now Alliant International University), where he studied music and composition for two years.
Jamie Foxx is a stage name he adopted at the start of his career in 1989 to break into comedy. Noticing that female comedians were chosen more frequently on open mic night, he adopted the androgynous name “Jamie” to improve his chances of getting on stage and the surname “Foxx” as a tribute to comedian Red Foxx.
In 2004, Foxx won an Academy Award for Best Actor and a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy for his leading role in Ray (2004), the acclaimed musical biography about singer and songwriter Ray Charles. He has also won two Grammy Awards for musical performances in 2006 and 2010.
Foxx is also known for his performances in Collateral (2004) and Dream Girls (2006). Later films include Django Unchained (2012), White House Down (2013), The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014), Annie (2014), and Baby Driver (2017).
In 2020, he received the Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People for his role as Walter McMillan in Just Mercy (2019). Previously, Foxx won image awards for Ray and The Jamie Foxx Show.
He starred in the television shows In Living Color on the Fox Network (1991-1994) and The Jamie Foxx Show on the WB Television Network (1996-2001).
Foxx’s current television series on the Fox network is Beat Shazam (2017-2020), a humorous game show in which contestants identify music hits while competing against themselves and Shazam, an app that identifies songs. His daughter Corinne Foxx co-stars as the show’s deejay.
His work in sitcoms continues with Netflix in Dad Stop Embarrassing Me, a new series he produces and directs.
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