The star, who went on to win the 2005 Oscar for Best Actor for his role in “Ray,” described on Howard Stern’s Sirius radio program Tuesday how his partying was getting out of control during the lead-up to the awards show. (The language, as one might expect, is explicit and appears uncensored below and in the clip above.)
“I’m drinking, I’m doing every fucking thing you can possibly imagine,” Foxx said. “And then I get a call.”
It was Oprah, who was calling to let the actor know that he was “blowing it.”
“All this galavanting, all this kind of shit, that’s not what you want to do,” Foxx said Oprah told him. She said she wanted to take him somewhere to show him the significance of this moment in his life.
So she gathered black actors from the 1960s and ‘70s at the home of legendary music producer Quincy Jones, along with acting great Sidney Poitier. Poitier told Foxx that watching his performance in “Ray” made him “grow two inches.”
“I want to give you responsibility,” Poitier added, which caused Foxx to break down.
When Foxx won the Oscar soon after the meeting, he referenced the night in his acceptance speech. But he didn’t mention at the time that it was part of a larger intervention.
“Oprah allowed me to meet somebody by the name of Sidney Poitier,” Foxx said while accepting the award. “I’m taking that responsibility tonight. Thank you, Sidney.”
Watch Foxx detail the moment in the videos above and below.
CORRECTION: Due to an editorial error, this article misstated who praised Foxx for his performance in “Ray.” It was Poitier, not Winfrey, who Foxx said “grew two inches.”