'Soul’ examplifies bittersweet feeling of losing someone but finding joy in what they taught: Foxx

Shubha Dubey
·4-min read

New Delhi, Dec 22 (PTI) Hollywood star Jamie Foxx says 2020 has been a 'bittersweet' year for him as he lost his younger sister but the tragedy also taught him to find joy in little things, a thought explored beautifully in his upcoming animated film 'Soul'.

The actor lost his younger sister DeOndra Dixon, a Down syndrome ambassador, in October this year but he found solace in the fact that her sibling's life was all about music, dance and living every moment to its fullest.

Directed by Pete Doctor, the Disney-Pixar movie revolves around a Black jazz musician-teacher Joe Gardner (Foxx), who has lost his passion for music, and after an accident is transported out of his body. As he finds his way back with the help of an infant soul, 22 (Tina Fey), he discovers the real meaning of happiness and life.

“This year 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. The one thing about my sister though, she always lived every single moment to the hilt. She had down syndrome. She loved music and dance,' Foxx said in a virtual press conference with the international media, including PTI.

The actor said looking at 'Soul', he realised that he is going through something similar to what the movie is trying to say, 'the bittersweet (feeling) of losing someone but gaining a vision of joy of all the things that she taught us while she was living (sic)'.

'It is in a beautiful and strange way is exemplified here in this film,” Foxx added.

The actor said he has always considered human life to be just a blink in the timeline of billions year old planet.

'I have a phrase, that I use…. The world has been here billions-millions of years. So, 70, 80, 100 years is what? It's a blink of an eye. So, I say to everybody, don't waste your blink. Live your life.” The 53-year-old actor, who has two daughters Corinne Foxx and Annalise Bishop, said his zest for life also stems from the fact that he is still like a “big kid”, which acts as a bonus for him when it comes to voicing characters in animation films be it 'Rio' or 'Soul'.

“I'm forever young, man. I'll be very honest. I'm like a big kid. And that works in my advantage, especially when it comes to a movie like ‘Soul’. I feel, like, I'm just getting started. And it feels good,” he said.

The movie, which premieres on Disney Plus Hotstar on Christmas, also marks the studio's step ahead in the direction of telling more inclusive stories from different cultures and races in animation.

Foxx is happy about the changing face of cinema and the attention people of colour are getting in the entertainment industry.

The actor said he has always advised younger actors to keep trying as the opportunities are “wide open” now.

“What I tell them is, ‘Do not fatigue. Do not lay your art to the side’. When I talked to Michael B. Jordan or to Chadwick (Boseman), or Chris Brown… Everybody that comes in my house, I just say , hey, man, the opportunity is so wide open now. So, you got to run.' The younger generation of actors, he said, are blessed to have various platforms to showcase their talent, something that performers of his era did not have.

But at the same time, too much of dependence on social media for promotion, shifts the focus of artistes from working on their craft to maintaining a public persona.

“I will continuously tell the young artistes, man, this is your best time. Because somebody is going to see you if you stay at it...” “Soul” also features veteran actor Phylicia Rashad and Angela Bassett.

The film is co-directed by Kemp Powers while Trent Renzon and Atticus Ross have created the original score for the movie. Jonathan Batiste has worked on jazz compositions and arrangements.

Doctor, Kemp Powers and Mike Jones have penned the movie. PTI SHD BK BK BK