Jamie Foxx Turned Down ‘Dreamgirls’ Until He Found out Eddie Murphy Was Starring in the Film

Eddie Murphy played a huge part in Jamie Foxx doing the 2006 picture Dreamgirls. Foxx initially wasn’t that committed until learning one of his idols would be a part of the picture.

How Jamie Foxx ended up in ‘Dreamgirls’

Eddie Murphy and Jamie Foxx speaking on stage at Spike TV's "Eddie Murphy: One Night Only".
Jamie Foxx and Eddie Murphy | Mark Davis/WireImage

Foxx ended up adding even more star-power to the already star-studded Dreamgirls. The movie cast already huge names like Murphy, Beyoncé, and Jennifer Hudson for the project. But when the critically acclaimed feature was first brought to Foxx, he confided that he wasn’t too receptive to the role.

Foxx was asking for a particular salary to appear in Dreamgirls, but his asking price was so high that negotiations broke down. It wasn’t until Foxx found out who he’d be working with that he decided his salary wouldn’t matter.

“The first time, it was just me in the movie – no Eddie Murphy, no Beyoncé. Then I hear Eddie’s doing it, and I’m like: ‘Hey, pay me a dollar.’ I hear Beyoncé’s doing it: ‘Pay me a quarter.’ I just wanted to be part of that,” Foxx once said according to Irish Examiner. “At the end of the day, who cares, man? It’s Eddie Murphy. He’s my hero.”

Foxx also believed that the quality of the movie would’ve been worth more than any paycheck the film could’ve afforded him.

“If Dreamgirls works out as I think it will, it will be the greatest thing in the world, a real event. Maybe you won’t get $15m, maybe you get $3m , maybe $2m…you are getting more than a paycheck,” Foxx added.

Jamie Foxx felt he had to be mean to Eddie Murphy and Beyoncé in ‘Dreamgirls’

There was some concern that Foxx’s character might’ve been a bit too unlikable in Dreamgirls. The comedian played Curtis Taylor Jr. In the flick, Foxx’s character was the owner of a record label trying to push Beyoncé and Hudson to mainstream success. But Curtis could be a very cruel personality, which even the film’s director, Bill Condon, worried might hurt Foxx’s image.

“Bill Condon even asked me, do you think Curtis is too mean? Should we make him likeable? And I said, if you do that, now you’re going away from what the character really is, and I think Curtis is the sacrificed bunt for the rest of the characters. I’ll sacrifice the Jamie Foxx hottness for a minute, because if you don’t play characters like Curtis unforgiving, then the struggle of Jamie Foxx, and the struggle of Beyoncé and Eddie Murphy, you soften it,” Foxx once said according to Black Film.

Foxx even took his role a step further, and acted like Curtis behind the scenes to his castmates. Foxx believed this would’ve made their interaction come across more authentically to audiences.

“When I tell you, I was terrible! But I knew that if I came at [Beyonc] tough, that it would create this sort of thing that she would be able to- because it has to be real, and if you don’t feel that it’s real, then you won’t catch it. And even another thing too, you can’t deny that Beyoncé is larger than life, you can’t deny that Eddie Murphy is larger than life, so if Curtis slams Eddie Murphy and the character at the same time, that’s what makes it more effective, so that’s why I think it was important to play him that way,” Foxx said.

Jamie Foxx wants to work with Eddie Murphy again, but in comedy

Foxx and Murphy haven’t worked together since Dreamgirls. But Foxx would be interested in working alongside Murphy again in the world of comedy. It’s been decades since either of them have returned to their roots of pure stand-up. Both comedians have talked about returning to the stage, which Foxx wouldn’t mind sharing with Murphy if given the opportunity.

“I would go on tour with Eddie! I want Eddie,” Foxx once said on The Ellen Show. “I would love to go on tour with Eddie because I think, it’s our time. You haven’t heard from him in a minute and you haven’t heard from me. And I got it. I got some super-duper jokes and I’ve been working on my impersonations.”

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