(WASHINGTON) — Jamie Foxx has mastered a variety of roles in his career, but playing a slave in his new film Django Unchained presented a particularly difficult challenge.
During an appearance on The Tonight Show Wednesday, Foxx recounted an exchange with director Quentin Tarantino in which he told Foxx that he needed to be a slave in order for the film to work.
“As I looked at my Louis [Vuitton] bag and my Range Rover key, I was like, ‘What do you mean?’” Foxx said.
Foxx, who turned 45 a week ago, said it was difficult to get into character because he has worked so hard to get to where he is today. But Tarantino told him he had to adopt a pre-Civil War mindset to make his character believable.
“That was tough for me having to act like I can’t read or to be subservient to someone or to hear the N-word over and over again, which is what I asked for because that’s the way they labeled us at that time. And it was tough,” Texas native Foxx said.
The film was also difficult for Foxx’s co-star Leonardo DiCaprio, he said, who plays a slaveholder.
“It was even tougher to see Leonardo come in and he had to say these words to me and at one point he said, ‘Buddy, you know this is tough,’” Foxx, born Eric Bishop, said.
“And then, which was funny but not funny, but Samuel Jackson, who plays his house servant, leans over to Leo and says, ‘Hey MF, this is just another Tuesday for us. Get over this.’”
The film opens Tuesday, Christmas Day.
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