Jamie Foxx Says Oliver Stone Told Him He Was “Horrible” During An Audition
In 2005, Jamie Foxx was nominated for Best Actor (for Ray, which he won), and Best Supporting Actor (for Collateral). And I believe it’s Hollywood law that once you are nominated for or win an Oscar, you are forever known as “Academy Award nominee/winner ____” for the rest of your career. In short, everyone basically agrees you’re generally good at acting. But before 2005, way back in 1999, someone thought Jamie couldn’t act his way out of a trash can, and that man was Oliver Stone.
The Hollywood Reporter did what they do every year and gathered together six actors with Oscar buzz (much like they do with actresses) to talk about their respective movies and the acting process and all that. This year we got a roundtable discussion featuring Adam Driver (Marriage Story), Tom Hanks (A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood), Robert De Niro (The Irishman), Adam Sandler (Uncut Gems), Shia LaBeouf (Honey Boy), and Jamie Foxx (Just Mercy). They were all asked if they’re hard on themselves as actors, and most said they were. Jamie came through with an anecdote about the time Oliver Stone was hard on him. Hard might be too light a word, because it actually sounded pretty brutal.
Jamie was auditioning for Any Given Sunday, and while he did end up getting the part of third string quarterback Willie Beamen, the road there was paved with insults.
“I remember Oliver Stone, when I first auditioned [for Any Given Sunday], he was like, “You’re horrible.” And I was like, “What?” He was like, “Just get the fuck out of here.” As I’m walking out he said, “Jamie Foxx, slave to television.”
Tom Hanks was the only one who responded to Jamie’s story, and he did so with an empathetic “Nooooo.” Leave it to the nicest guy in Hollywood to be the one to feel sorry for someone a whole two decades later. However, Jamie appreciated Oliver meanness. He didn’t say exactly how he learned from Oliver Stone calling him horrible, or saying that he was a “slave to television.” Maybe it prepared him for how to deal with questionable things said by directors in the future.
Or maybe the lesson he learned was that Oliver Stone is kind of a jerk. That might be the same lesson Shia learned when he worked with Oliver Stone on Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps. Shia added to Jamie’s story by saying:
“He would never look me in the eyes. He always looked just above my eye, to the eyelid.”
But also, Oliver’s assessment of Jamie’s acting skills was clearly incorrect. Jamie went on to receive good reviews for his performance in Any Given Sunday. And regardless of what he did in that audition, we all know that Jamie is an excellent actor. I mean, he spent years acting like he wasn’t dating Katie Holmes.