Jamie Foxx On The “Bittersweet” ‘Just Mercy’, His Own Father’s Unjust Incarceration & Why He’s Never Been For The Death Penalty

  • Deadline
Wrongly-convicted Death Row prisoner Walter McMillian may have tragically lost most of his life to a broken justice system, but McMillian’s story lives on in both the memoir of his tireless lawyer, Bryan Stevenson, and now in the film it inspired: Destin Daniel Cretton’s Just Mercy. Jamie Foxx plays McMillian—a man without hope, facing both the electric chair and the endemic racism in Alabama that condemned him—when a young, idealistic Stevenson (Michael B. Jordan) decides to fight his case. Having experienced the incarceration of his own father, Foxx brought a deeply heartfelt perspective to the role.

Deadline: How did you first get on board the film?

Jamie Foxx: Michael B. Jordan called me. I’ve known Michael B. Jordan since he was tiny. If he ever needed anything I was always there, which is just a thing that I do. And in this situation,
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