The Latch

‘Safety’s’ Corinne Foxx on Dad Jamie: “He Just Wants to Produce Together Until the End of Time”

Actor, producer, writer and podcast host, Corinne Foxx, is as multi-talented as her resume suggests.

At only 26 years of age, she has not only starred in several projects but has produced a TV series which is currently in production. And it’s all thanks to growing up on sets with her famous father, Jamie Foxx.

“I’m incredibly blessed that my dad took me to so many events growing up and took me to set growing up because I have such an understanding of the entertainment industry now,” Foxx said in an interview with The Latch, before saying that she has also written two screenplays and bounces ideas off her dad.

“My dad and I work so well creatively together and at times I do want to stray away and do my own things, but really, it’s such a blessing to work with him because we work so similarly and he calls me, I would say, once a week with a new movie idea, a new TV idea. He says, ‘Ok, what do you think of is this?’. I give him my notes and then I send him my scripts and he just wants to produce together, I think, until the end of time.”

Foxx’s most recent project is the Disney+ film, Safety, a drama which is inspired by the empowering story of former Clemson University football safety Ray McElrathbey (Jay Reeves).

Ray is a young man facing a series of challenging circumstances, whose dedication and persistence help him to triumph over repeated adversities. Aided by his teammates and the Clemson community, including Foxx’s character Kaycee, he succeeds on the field while simultaneously raising and caring for his 11-year-old brother Fahmarr (Thaddeus J. Mixson).

When deciding on roles, Foxx feels a “responsibility” to “choose roles that show women in a positive light”.

“This [Kaycee] is a very strong role,” she said. “She’s a very smart, persistent, passionate woman that I love to play. And I think for me also as a writer to write roles for women in these powerhouse roles.”

Here, Foxx talks to The Latch about working with the real Ray McElrathbey, what it was like being the only female in the cast and what advice she’d have for her younger self.

Anita Anabel: Hi Corinne! Congratulations on the release Safety. It is such a touching film and you were wonderful in it. What drew you to the part initially?

Corinne Fox: You know, Kaycee is extremely empathetic and understanding of Ray’s situation, right? I think there are a lot of weird things he’s doing throughout the film that probably would scare girls away, especially like finding underwear on the ground and all of those things that may be normal girls would be like, “Hey, this is a little suspicious” but she’s very persistent and dedicated to Ray and she becomes a really big champion for him to ask for help. And once he does that, you know, the floodgates open and his community ends up helping him in such a big way. I think I just really love Kaycee because I feel like I would be very similar to her in this situation.

AA: You spent so much time with Ray. What was it like hearing his story for the first time?

CF: I remember hearing a story for the first time when I was younger when it when the article came out. My mum watched Oprah every single day religiously and I remember his story being on the Oprah Winfrey Show. So, when I actually got the role and met him, it was very surreal, because I’ve known about him for so long.

He was very different than I expected. He’s very quiet and disciplined and he actually didn’t reveal a lot about his story. The way that he contributed to production was so interesting because he was there every day, he wanted his presence to be known but he actually contributed by training everyone.

He trained all the boys, like every day at 5.00am these intense workouts, and then one day, I’m like, you know what, I’m gonna do it. I’m the only girl on set. I made it through one workout, barely.

AA: (laughs) That is such a cool story, particularly being such an unassuming person but to also live this legacy mentoring people. But I’m also really curious about your story. You have one of the most famous fathers in the world but how are you paving your own path and making your own name? It must be such a double-edged sword at times?

CF: You know, I think I’m incredibly blessed that my dad took me to so many events growing up and took me to set growing up because I have such an understanding of the entertainment industry now. I’m so I’m careful in the way that I’m paving my career now.

And what’s really exciting right now is that you don’t have to just be an actor anymore. You can be an actor and a producer and I host a gameshow [Beat Shazam] with my dad. I just launched a podcast [Am I Doing This Right]. I’m a writer. I’ve written two screenplays and so I feel like I can kind of do whatever I want now.

AA: You’re so talented! What kind of screenplays are you writing?

CF: I did it during quarantine because we were just sitting around doing nothing and I had these ideas. I have a television show that’s in development that I wrote and a movie that I wrote and I’m also producing things.

I just feel like I’m so young. Why not just throw everything at the wall and see what sticks?

AA: That’s pretty incredible! Do you turn to your dad for advice?

CF: My dad and I work so well creatively together and at times I do want to stray away and do my own things, but really, it’s such a blessing to work with him because we work so similarly and he calls me, I would say, once a week with a new movie idea, a new TV idea…

He says, “Ok, what do you think of is this?”. I give him my notes and then I send him my scripts and he just wants to produce together, I think, until the end of time.

We already have other projects in the works together that we’ve been working on together for a long time.

AA: What an amazing relationship you both have! Being a young female in the Film and TV industry, what is that like? How is it in this day and age?

CF: You know, I am definitely, obviously there’s been a lot of controversy going on. And I think I’ve been really lucky because my dad is in the industry. Everyone is too afraid to mess with me in any way.

I feel a big sense of responsibility as a young woman to want to choose roles that show women in a positive light, to choose strong female lead roles, which this [Safety] is a very strong role. She’s a very smart, persistent, passionate woman that I love to play. And I think for me also as a writer to write roles for women in these powerhouse roles.

AA: What’s one piece of advice that you have for your younger self knowing what you know now?

CF: Wow, that’s a great question. I would tell myself don’t live in fear. Live up to your potential. I think a lot of the times there’s been so many things I’ve been really scared to do and then I do it anyway and I’m like, oh, I can do that.

I think before you try anything that’s new, it’s scary. But I think you just got to live up to your potential and I feel like I’ve always shown up for myself and so to bet on myself a little bit more.

Safety premieres on Friday, December 11, streaming only on Disney+. 

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