On the New York set of the big-screen “Annie,” Foxx stops singing and hoofing it for a moment to make a small proclamation. “Love Chicago. Love New York. Not a fan of winter,” he says with a mock shiver. “I’m a California guy. Tell Chicago that I feel for them in the winter.”
At age 46, Foxx has never been busier, with roles in the upcoming “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” and “Annie,” or feeling better.
Foxx recently directed the short “And She Was My Eve” about a man scarred early in life by unrequited love who works to attain the perfect mate. It’s part of Canon’s Project Imagine showcasing the power that still images have on narrative storytelling. “It’s my way of getting my feet wet in the director’s chair,” he says. “I always wanted to direct. I’ve been chomping at the bit. I had all of these visions, and when I work with other directors, I’ve been watching closely.”
He’s also focused on his health. Ask him how he looks so ageless and he can’t resist a joke. “It’s just all natural juices and berries.”
If you say you drink water, too, I give up.
“OK, here is the secret: I reached out and hired a trainer. My guy used to be the trainer for the New Orleans Hornets. I love the plan he has me on, which is mostly eating healthy, but he allows me to eat unhealthy as well. We just pay attention to my weight.”
Foxx is a big proponent of weighing yourself to really know what’s going on with your body. “If I keep my weight down that allows me to have a cheat. The goal is not to fluctuate too much. When you go up and down, you get larger. Your skin expands. Plus, you’re taking your body through that yo-yo thing, which just isn’t healthy.”
Here are Jamie’s healthy living tips:
FIGURE OUT YOUR HEALTHY WEIGHT ZONE
Foxx says you can do that with the help of a doctor or trainer. “I stay between 182 to 187 pounds. I know if I stay within that I avoid a big weight loss or big weight gain. You can always lose a few pounds to go to the leaner 182 or eat a bit and go up to 187. The key is to keep track of it.”
EXERCISE BEFORE YOU “EXERCISE”
Foxx says, “I bike to the gym as my warmup. Or, I play a lot of basketball. It’s great to have a trainer who is a basketball trainer. I like to do these activities because I find regular cardio a bit mundane.
FIND A GREAT TRAINER
“My trainer has a degree in medicine and knows about the human body. He pushes me in smart ways, which is key. Sometimes you meet those trainers who are like, ‘Let’s lift those huge weights.’ … We do bands. We don’t push the body too far because you don’t need to do that to get the best results.”
He adds, “We also kid around and have fun training. I came up with a great slogan for him. ‘You think you’re in shape? You don’t know Jack.’ If you can’t get a trainer, then work out with a buddy or friend who is thinking health consciously.”
“I cook egg whites in the morning with some turkey bacon and toast. I love a little OJ. I eat real, good food for my meals including lean meat, chicken and fish. If I’m busy, I’ll use a meal replacement at times.”
“The rest of my look is great lighting,” he jokes.
An early trailer for “The Amazing Spider-Man 2″ shows Foxx’s Electro villain tangled in wires strapped to a gurney whispering in a scary tone, “No matter what you do…you can’t contain me. You want to know how powerful I am? Well, I want to know, too.’”
Foxx says, “I had a great time on the set. I can’t say enough about Andrew Garfield and how he works.
“As for me, it feels good to be bad.”
How did he get into character? “I watched the old Rocky movies where Mr. T was the bad guy. Mr. T didn’t go at Rocky at first. He looked at Rocky’s wife and said, ‘Hey, pretty girl.’ Oh man, that’s so disrespectful. I wanted him to have the same disrespect to Spider-Man.
“I wanted it to be ‘I’m going to burn him down!’ ” Foxx says, adding, “The one thing we did do was set up Electro, so he’s hurt at first. Later, even his mom doesn’t remember when he turns into Electro.”