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Jamie Foxx & Michael B. Jordan Talk New Film ‘Just Mercy’ | MTV News


– Jamie, you're maybe one of the best mimics on the planet How's your Michael B

Jordan? – He's got a video, you gotta show him the video where he just did his new movie, he's doing the fight with his shirt off He's got a muscle in his back, I didn't even know existed (laughs) How this mother (beep) get that? What is that? I took a screenshot, sent it to my trainer, "Can we achieve this?" He didn't text back (laughs) – What do you guys know each other from? You've never collaborated, but as I understand it, you actually have known each other for a long while – Yeah, I think it just goes back to me first moving to California when I was younger and there was a group of people that kinda took me in as a mentee, as a little brother and Jamie Foxx was one of those guys who always gave me advice and words of encouragement, and invited me over to the house

He knew the journey that I was on He knew what I was trying to do and he was just trying to be helpful and as much of a big brother as he could – So what did you see in Michael and are we talking like, 'The Wire' days, when are we talking about, what performances did you see? – Mike has always had this light and it's interesting because I see a lot of people that come up and I try to be there for them, but Mike has a different type of light Having a movie star light is different from a singer, rapper, whatever It has to be cultivated so the things that I was told in the business, I would just share with him because I knew that he had something special about him

And then as you see now, watching him evolve into this Hollywood juggernaut, you see that early You say, you say, "We don't know what it is, "but we know we gotta make sure you cool "because you're necessary" – Michael, in the last few years, and we've talked about this, like when you've gotten this huge amount of success, is that something that is fair to say that has consumed you guys throughout? How do I steer my own path and how do I take control of my own life and career? – Yeah, also advice that, you know, Jamie gave me and a few other handful of people in the industry who, they take notice to certain things and they understand what's happening to a person in that position From afar you could be like, "Oh I bet he's going through this "He's in this stage of the game right now

" So to lend information, some people are very precious with that and they wanna keep it for themselves and some people are very giving and I think at that point in my career 'til now and still going through new phases and still learning and growing, Jamie's been through that already So for him to kind of give me that road map, "Oh there's a pitfall over here "Don't step on that landmine right there" You know, he's protecting my mental sanity I'm just trying to continue to grow and I'm learning that's the right way to do it

Now I'm trying to do it It's weird to me now when I see some younger cats that are coming up and they hit me up asking I'm like, "Me, me, you wanna talk to me? "Like okay, am I there right now?" Oh man, but I love that You're defined by who you put on I can only do this but for so long, however long that's gonna be, but your legacy is who you help and who you're able to push forward

And I wanna take his example and continue to do that – So you sign on to this one first, you're producing it, you're starring in it and you ring up Jamie What's the phone call like? Is it an easy yes, is it a hard pitch? What did he say? – We have a personal story behind this, but I will tell you that Michael B Jordan in this world of sort of make believe that we live in, is a standup guy and I mean that I mean, the words that he spoke to me, he gave me the opportunity to have my, my artistic integrity put intact

That means a lot 'cause even with all of the advice that you may give or like that, we're still in Hollywood There's still, you gotta swim You gotta figure out where you're gonna go and certain things move your career This is one of the most important movies that I've ever been part of and so when that happened, I jumped at it, man It was like a chance for us to be on screen together and really do something special

– It seems like the aspirations for something like this aren't like the usual thing Like sure, we all hope it does well at the box office and all that kind of thing, but do you go into a project like this with kind of different goals than you would another project? – Yes I feel like, I think everybody involved understood that before they signed on, before they got really involved with it, which makes the process that much easier because everybody has a common goal, you know – Yeah, you're in it for the right reasons – Exactly, so it's not like, oh, when we get to the marketing of this, now everything changes because they're trying to make this a blockbuster film when it's not, the archetype isn't that

So I feel like from the studio to the producers to the cast and everybody involved, everybody knew how important this story was and how important Bryan Stevenson is So, that's the main concern is protecting him, his legacy and what he's trying to do Making sure we portray him in the right way, the honest way, what his lifestyle, what his trials and tribulations, what his memoir reflects That's what we really wanna put on screen And yeah, everybody believes that this is a very important story and they're treating it as such

We're trying to get as many people to see this as possible because there's obviously an epidemic, there's obviously a problem right now Obviously the system is flawed and his approach and his mentality behind attacking that, trying to solve this problem, this constantly evolving thing – When you guys were growing up, were you brought up to know or believe that the legal system had different rules for you based on the color of your skin? Is that something that was kind of ingrained in you that there are sadly in America for Black men there are different rules? – It's different (Jamie chuckles) It's like an E ticket ride You know what that is? – No

– Back in the day when you go to Disneyland, they used to give you a book of tickets – Right – And the A, B, C, D tickets were like the teacup and everything like that, but the E ticket was the Space Mountain It's the rollercoaster in the dark Sometimes being a Black man is the E ticket ride

You don't know exactly what's gonna happen You could go out, be having a great day and just somebody – the cop see you and it just be wrong And you can scream this at the top of your lungs Millions of us are screaming We do this every day and tell people every single day that being Black is different and people kinda go, "Hmm

" So it's sort of like you want sometimes for people to just take this ride and see what it's like To see what it's like to be successful Riding in your car, the Lamborghini truck, a few weeks ago on Sunset, pull into the gas station, cop makes a u-turn on the motorcycle, pulled next to me and looking at me like this and then he didn't recognize me, I guess he didn't have the box set, the DVD, whatever, (laughs) you know he ain't seen He don't know who I am and I'm just like, "Hey, hello brother" This mother (beep) look at me like, "Huh?" And then it takes him two minutes to fill up his gas tank It takes me, you know 12 minutes, it's the Lamborghini truck (laughs) Until a little Mexican dude walk up to me say, "Jamie Foxx," came and took a picture He went

then he let up off of me And that's now And then as far as the justice system, my grandmother taught me early that it's gonna be different

I'm out with my white friend at the time, Kyle Marscola, we like ten years old, we get in, the sunlight, the street light came on, so you know, you supposed to be in before the streetlight – Yeah, that's the rule – So we late, so we both supposed to be in trouble Kyle's mother said, "Come on Kyle, don't do that" And they take off

My grandmother tried to put me in the grave I said, "Why you whooping my (beep) like that?" "Whoop yo (beep)!" I said, "But Kyle did the same thing" You know what my grandmother told me? "Black men can't make white man mistakes" I said, "Huh?" She said, "You remember that for the rest of your life" Even now when we toil about things like, "Well so and so did it and he white

" "Yeah, but we different" They look at us differently (beep) you do that (beep), it's just skewed differently – And these lessons are so ingrained, like the first scene of Walter we see, he's pulled over, he instinctually puts his hands out – [Jamie] You better

– Is that something that growing up, it's like, it's not even a lesson, it's just what you do? – Yeah, it's just what it is I think there's just the quote, unquote "talk" that you get when you get to a certain age or there is no real certain age It's just kinda common knowledge That's the normality of it all We become numb to what it is and that's not okay

I think it's the perception of what it is to be Black and brown, the evolution of slavery 'til today Slavery didn't technically end, it just evolved That idea of being Black and brown is dangerous and guilty, it's still today the propaganda that is the news, the clips, the this the that, all the imagery is saying one thing, so we have to fight a perception that's really hard to change, which is why movies like this is very helpful Hopefully it helps bring the humanity, bring people who feel so far away from the issue, so far away from these people, that aren't really viewed as full people, full humans We can start to have some type of humanity brought back to it

We do live by a certain, a different set of rules and a certain fear and anxiety out in the world that you'll be treated and judged by the way you look – And this kind of segues into another initiative, which is all about sort of trying to level the playing field, which is the inclusion rider, which is an important aspect of this film I think it's the first film from Warner Bros that is doing this and this is something, an initiative of yours that was important to you Why is this one of the issues that's important to you? – The lens in which films are being made from

I feel like the entertainment industry is my home It's my community If you're not an active member of it, if you don't try to fix it, if you don't try to do things to try to help and enrich your community, what are you really doing? And I think for me, hearing Frances McDormand's powerful speech at the Oscars that year, I was like man, I'm sitting in on this, I'm like, "Man, there's something on paper that I can actually do? "Okay, cool, let me see what that's like" 'Cause I mean, naturally I was gonna kinda do that anyway unofficially, but now I can actually hold my production company to a certain standard I could, Warner Bros

ran towards this idea with us to have the inclusion policy adopted by all of Warner Bros So much that WarnerMedia came in and asked us to help write the language for their inclusion acts, so now all of WarnerMedia and all their umbrella companies have the inclusion policy on how they hire, which basically means that people from unrepresented groups are gonna be heavily considered for a major department head on a production behind the camera and in front of the camera also, so it's not bulletproof, it's not foolproof It holds people to a certain moral standard It's giving people the opportunity to be seen, to have a shot This industry, it's natural, it's human nature for us to hire our friends or people that we previously worked with and it's easy to get caught up in a circle and not want to work outside of that

– Yeah, just perpetuates the same group over and over – Over and over again, so this just allows people to be able to see that there are other talented people who are just as fit for certain jobs and opportunities and giving people a shot Sometimes all you need is a foot in the door Whether you get that one or the next one, it's giving people an opportunity – On some lighter notes– – Did you say whiter notes? – No, I didn't

(Josh laughs) – I heard that and I wasn't gonna call it I was like, "That's kinda funny" – Let's go to the tape Seeing what Coogler and Michael B accomplished on 'Black Panther,' does that make you wanna get involved in a film like that or even his sequel? That's the high watermark in some ways right now

– When I watched that movie, I mean, at the premiere, it was just amazing and Ryan Coogler and Michael B have a great relationship It seemed like when he came on camera, he shot you with a different camera (laughs) 'Cause you was so much bigger than every– I mean you way bigger than Black Panther I was like, "Wow

" I just sat back and enjoyed that, but you know what I loved about it, the narrative that he brought even as the villain was still connected to our culture That's what's special, you know what I'm saying? You feel like the future is in great hands artistically – You know what could be special? – What's that? – Michael B Jordan as Superman – What? – Oh man

– That would be so crazy Son of Jor-El (laughs) – Honestly, I've been rumored to play Morpheus to Superman to 'DuckTales' reboot to 'Power Rangers' and everything in between, so it's like I'm kinda used to the rumors I'm playing something, but anything that I do dive into has gotta be done the right way It has to be full of authenticity and I know, I'm a fan of comic books I understand fans being upset at, "Oh no why are they doing "this and why are they changing that?" I would feel the same way about certain things

So just know if I ever were to dip, dibble and dabble in anything, it would be authentic and something that I feel like people would really support – Last thing for you guys It occurs to me, two things, you've never hosted 'SNL?' – I have not – You've never done the Oscars I saw you at an event the other night and all I was thinking when you were on the stage is like, "This guy should host the Oscars

" – That's a tough gig, though Because the Oscars is a tough gig There's really no prize for that And there are more barbs than there are prizes You know what I'm saying, it's like anything that you say now as a comedian for some reason, us as comedians, anything that we say or we do it's like we're persecuted as if we're not comics, so you know, jokes are sort of like the plague

It's like, I feel like we're back in the 16th century and we're getting pulled out in chains and then someone's running to the king, "They're telling jokes, sire" "Jokes?" (laughs) "Bring them to me, off with their head" You'll see me, Kevin Hart, (beep), Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock Dave Chappelle, "Damn, this is what's happening (laughs) "They're trying to kill us all

" You gotta be willing to say, it's gonna be some (beep) after it's over – Right, right – So I think I could do it, but I'd rather be sitting there and taking part of it and laughing at someone else's jokes and watching them go down the tube – And 'SNL' for you, any interest? – I can see myself doing it eventually I think it's all to do with timing and something that– – Maybe not, 'Just Mercy' is not the right fit for you

(laughs) – I don't know if that's the right film for that one It's gotta have the right time and really put into it and develop it I've never really came out and you know a true comedy before I've always, it has to play to my sense of humor People that know me say I'm, they think I'm kinda funny, so it just has to be done the right type of way

Never say never, I'm down for it – It'll be good to promote Superman in like 2022, 2023? – Oh my gosh, dodging these bullets, man – Come on, baby

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