Jamie Foxx Reveals How Oprah Helped Curb His Drinking

By Keri Blakinger 05/31/17

Foxx recalled how an Oprah-staged intervention at Quincy Jones' house changed his life in a recent interview.

Jamie Foxx and Oprah Winfrey

Academy Award-winning actor Jamie Foxx is now on the straight and narrow—and it’s all thanks to Oprah Winfrey. 

The 49-year-old Ray star sat down with Howard Stern and dished about the talk show host’s positive impact on his life in the hard-partying years following his on-screen success.

“I’m having such a good time and I’m not knowing I’m fucking up,” Foxx recalled. “I mean, I’m drinking, I’m doing every fucking thing you could possibly imagine.”

At one point—a little over a year before the well-received biopic—Foxx was collared in New Orleans after refusing to leave a casino and then brawling with police who tried to boot him out, according to reports at the time. He continued in his high-life Hollywood ways until Oprah stepped in. “I get a call,” he said. The celeb show host told him, “You’re blowing it.”

Foxx recalled the conversation in detail: “She said, ‘All of this gallivanting and all this kind of shit, that’s not what you want to do. She said, ‘I want to take you somewhere. Make you understand the significance of what you’re doing.’”

So Oprah set up something of an intervention for the actor, taking him to the house of famed record producer Quincy Jones for a high-profile meet-and-greet. “We go in the house and there are all these old actors,” Foxx recalled. “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.’”

But it was an encounter with Academy Award winner Sidney Poitier at the "intervention" that really blew Foxx away. “He says, I saw you one time, you were at a party. Do you remember that?” Foxx recalled. “I want to give you one thing. I want to give you responsibility. When I saw your performance, it made me grow two inches.”

It’s unclear how Foxx curbed his problem drinking, but he certainly seems to have thrived. Since Ray, he’s also played in hits like Dreamgirls and Django Unchained.

In 2016, CNN reported, he got to play a hero in real life when he rescued an alleged drunk driver from a burning truck after a crash in front of Foxx’s California home.

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Keri Blakinger is a former drug user and current reporter living in Texas. She covers breaking news for the Houston Chronicle and previously worked for the New York Daily News and the Ithaca Times. She has written about drugs and criminal justice for the Washington Post, Salon, Quartz and more. She loves dogs and is not impressed by rodeo food. Find Keri on LinkedIn and Twitter.