Jamie Foxx signed up for drama Just Mercy because the story struck a personal chord with him.
In the new film, the Oscar-winning actor portrays the real-life Walter McMillian, who was wrongly imprisoned for murdering a woman and placed on death row for six years, until lawyer Bryan Stevenson, played by Michael B. Jordan, took on his case and appealed the conviction.
During an appearance on The Graham Norton Show, Foxx explained that he was honoured to shine a light on McMillian’s story and all those who have been unjustly incarcerated, such as his own father.
“When Michael called me, I was humbled and honoured to be part of the project, but it is personal because they put my father in jail for seven years for having $25 of illegal substances,” he shared. “He was an educator of kids in the inner city and he taught me everything I know. I couldn’t visit him in jail because I saw him as a king, but I wrote to him to say, ‘Things have gotten good for me and when you get out I will save your life,’ and he has been living with me for 20 years now.
“Here’s the good part – when he saw the movie, he said, ‘You tell that Michael B Jordan to keep doing what he is doing because it is so important.'”
Jordan helped produce the movie after reading Stevenson’s memoir about his work getting wrongly convicted people off death row, and Foxx heaped praise on his co-star for helping make Just Mercy, as well as starring in other films which are led by African-Americans.
“I commend Michael for making this movie. If you look at what he did with Fruitvale Station and then Black Panther to bring the narrative out for black people, I think this film completes his artistic sentence. When people watch this film, they weep and cheer because it moves your soul,” the 52-year-old gushed.
Just Mercy is in cinemas now.
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