During a recent interview with Howard Stern on his SiriusXM radio show, Foxx revealed that Winfrey was so concerned about his drinking and partying after the release of the 2004 movie Ray that she staged an intervention. He received a phone call from her mid-binge, when she told him he was “blowing it.”
“[She said], ‘All of this gallivanting and all this kind of shit, that’s not what you want to do … want to take you somewhere. Make you understand the significance of what you’re doing,’” Foxx told Stern.
Just getting that call from Oprah Winfrey would probably be enough of a wake-up call, but as we well know, she doesn’t do things by halves. In true Oprah extravaganza fashion, she organized a meeting of legendary black actors at the home of iconic music producer Quincy Jones.
“We go in the house and there are all these old actors,” Foxx told Stern. “Black actors from the ’60s and the ’70s, who look like they just want to say, ‘Good luck.’ They want to say, ‘Don’t blow it.’”
To seal the deal, the intervention included a tuxedo-clad Sidney Poitier, the first black man to win the Oscar for Best Actor, who, according to Foxx, told him, “I want to give you responsibility. When I saw your performance [in Ray], it made me grow 2 inches.”
As we know, this story has a happy ending. The intervention impacted Foxx so much that he broke down during the meeting, turned his life around and went on to win the Oscar for Best Actor soon after that.