It’s been at least six years since a Jamie Foxx-led Mike Tyson biographical film was announced. While that may not seem like a long time in Hollywood, the project, called Finding Mike, had almost been forgotten, until this week.
Foxx announced yesterday that the film on the legendary and controversial boxer’s life is most definitely happening.
This isn’t Foxx’s first go-round with biopics
Jamie Foxx, of course, won the Academy Award in 2005 for Best Actor for his portrayal of American music legend Ray Charles.
He told ABC News in January 2020, “Winning the Oscar was probably the most joy artistically a person could have, because Ray Charles was celebrated. That movie was celebrated in such a way that everybody could get around it. It was a healthy character. It wasn’t a tragic character. It was a redemptive character.”
As for learning to mimic the musician in preparation for his career-defining film, Foxx says he simply didn’t.
“Coming from comedy,” he told The New York Times in 2004, “I could grasp a Ray Charles impersonation easily. The difficult thing was capturing his nuances.”
Foxx’s perfect Mike Tyson imitation
With word this week that his long-awaited film on the life of Mike Tyson is moving ahead, Foxx revealed on Mark Birnbaum’s Instagram Live series Catching Up that he has been working out big time to buff up.
“It’s a definitive yes,” Foxx told Birnbaum about Finding Mike. “Look, doing biographies is a tough thing. Sometimes it takes 20 years to get them done. But we officially got the real ball rolling. Every other day, I do 60 pull-ups, we do 60 dips, we do 100 push-ups.”
Foxx, 52, talked to Ellen DeGeneres on her talk show back in 2015 and elaborated on his imitation of the boxer one night at a nightclub. Only to find out that the man himself was in the audience and not in a very good mood.
“I get to my Mike Tyson joke,” Foxx said of his performance at age 21, “I’m about to kill it, and it’s complete silence. Because Mike Tyson is in the audience. And this is back in the time when Mike is knocking people out for having on the wrong shirt, you know?”
Tyson’s handlers yelled to Foxx from the back of the club that “Iron Mike” wanted him to go ahead with the joke and that it had better be good.
“I do the joke,” he continued, “the joke was great, I get a standing ovation.”
After that, Tyson himself walked up to the stage, and Foxx relates that it was at that point that their long friendship began. During his story, of course, the comedian included his imitation of Tyson, which only cements how ideal he is for the role.
Twitter’s thumbs up to Jamie Foxx
Twitter’s excitement for Jamie Foxx’s depiction of 53-year-old Mike Tyson was clearly evident.
“Jamie is going to nail it he is an absolute chameleon unbelievable body mechanics and can you combine his creativity with the fact that he is also a top shelf mimic on many levels you can’t go wrong,” said one fan.
Another tweet said, “Jamie is literally one of the best impersonators/actors ever, I can not wait for this.”
And another fan mirrored what so many are saying, that this performance of Foxx’s could snag him another Oscar.
“This is going to be @iamjamiefoxx ‘s next Oscar! I’m waiting patiently….”