Playing a 'Genius': Jamie Foxx Takes on Ray Charles

Jamie Foxx as Ray Charles in the movie 'Ray.'

Jamie Foxx as Ray Charles in the movie 'Ray.' Universal Pictures hide caption

itoggle caption Universal Pictures

When film director Taylor Hackford decided to bring the Ray Charles story to the big screen, he knew the project had great potential — and great risk. A film biography would only work if he could find just the right actor to portray the musical legend.

At first, Jamie Foxx may not have seemed like a natural choice for the leading role. He made his name as a comedian, and in film, usually played tough guy roles. But in an interview with NPR's Michele Norris, Foxx reveals that there's more to his resume. A trained classical pianist and gifted singer, Foxx convinced the filmmakers that he could embody Charles on screen in the way he moved, spoke and sang.

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