jamie foxx, oprah winfrey
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Jamie Foxx has been an entertainment mainstay for decades now, with an Oscar and a Grammy under his belt as well as a bestselling memoir. But in a recent interview with Access Hollywood’s Scott Evans, Foxx, 54, revealed that his career very nearly took a different turn, until Oprah Winfrey stepped in to give him some advice.

In 2005, Foxx was riding high from the critical acclaim he garnered for his performance as Ray Charles in the musical biopic Ray—a role for which he would eventually win the Academy Award for Best Actor. But his celebrating had turned into non-stop partying. Winfrey took notice of this, and called him up out of the blue.

“She said ‘You’re blowing it,'” Foxx recalls. “Because we were just out hanging, we weren’t taking the moment seriously. She said ‘I want to take you somewhere so you can understand the significance of what you’re doing.'”

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Winfrey took Foxx to the home of record producer Quincy Jones, where an impromptu intervention had been set up. Doing an uncanny impersonation of Jones, Foxx remembers being told: “You’ve done a great job on Ray but you’ve f***ed everything else up now. You got to buckle down, baby.”

He continues: “Oprah says ‘Now, are you ready to meet the person that I’ve brought you here to talk with?’ And it was Sidney Poitier. He says ‘I saw you one time. You were at a party. Do you remember that?’ I was like, yes. Tears. And he says, ‘When I watched your performance, it made me grow artistically two inches… And I give something to you. I give you responsibility that from now on throughout your career you’ll be responsible for what you give and what you show.’ And I have done as best I can to sort of live up to that, because it is very important.”

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