By Sugandha Rawal, (IANS) For Hollywood star Jamie Foxx, 2020 has been a bittersweet experience. The Oscar-winning actor says he is learning to overcome the loss of his younger sister, adding that he finds joy in things she taught him and the wisdom she left behind.
Earlier this year, Foxx lost his younger sister DeOndra Dixon, who was born with Down Syndrome, at the age of 36.
“2020 has been bittersweet for me. I’m living now in a situation where my family has been affected by someone we love very dearly — my sister, who has transitioned,” Foxx said.
“The one thing about my sister (was that) she always lived every moment, every single moment to the hilt. She had Down Syndrome, and she loved music. She came to live with me 18 years ago, when she got out of high school,” he said looking back at memories.
Recalling an instance, he said: “I did a video called ‘Blame it’, and that video had Ron Howard and Samuel Jackson and Jake Gyllenhaal and Quincy Jones and everybody. But my sister was like, ‘big bro, don’t forget me. Because I want to do my dance solo’. I said, ‘all right, I got you. And I looked down. And she had a little purse. And there was hair hanging out the purse. I said, What’s the hair? What is that hanging out?’. She said, ‘that’s my ponytail’. She did her thing and set the world on fire. The Down Syndrome community saw her. She became the ambassador for Down Syndrome. She was the ambassador for 11 years.”
The actor continues to live with her memories.
Referring to his upcoming animation film, “Soul”, he continued: “When you talk about the little things she always reminded me… she was always so excited. So, when you look at this film, it is exactly what I am now going through — the bittersweet (experience) of losing someone but gaining a sort of a vision of joy of all the things that she taught us while she was living. It’s in a beautiful, strange way, it’s exemplified in this film,” said the multi-hyphenate talent of Hollywood.
The 53-year-year-old has a message for everybody.
“I have a phrase that I use (that) the world has been here for billions-millions of years. It’s a blink of an eye. So, I say to everybody — don’t waste your blink. Live your life,” said Foxx in a global press conference for “Soul”.
With “Soul”, Foxx has become the first African American lead a Pixar film.
Co-directed by two-time Oscar winner Pete Docter and Kemp Powers, the film will take viewers on the journey of Joe Gardner, a middle-school band teacher (voiced by Foxx) and how he is about to find his true calling. Having lost his passion for music, Joe seeks the help of a soul named 22 to find his way back and, in the process, learns a lot about himself on a journey of introspection and self-realisation.
Talking about the film, Foxx said: “I’ve done animations. My youngest daughter was like, ‘dad, you’ve done animation but not the good kind. I said, ‘what you mean?’. She said ‘You’re Pixar now. You made it’.”
He continued: “So donning this role has been momentous. The role and, at the same time, having the music is something that I came out here to do. I know my grandmother, who is looking down, would be proud that we are doing something like this.”
After getting postponed due to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, “Soul” will finally release on Disney+ Hotstar Premium in India on December 25.
(Sugandha Rawal can be contacted at [email protected])