Jamie Foxx is tapping the Internet to conduct quite an interesting search: If things go as planned, he just might find the next Jamie Foxx.
This month, Foxx will unveil the virtual casting call FoxxStarHunt.com. Anyone with a talent just itching to reach an audience is invited to submit a two-minute video, which will be encoded and posted on the site for, hopefully, the watchful eyes of industry decision-makers.
“The idea came to me in Kansas City a little while back,” says the 32-year-old Foxx. “A woman approached me and told me that she was a good singer. It made me realize that she could be a great singer but, living where she did, it was just a song in the wind. There are a lot of talented people all over the world, and I’d like this site to bring Kansas City, Germany and Japan closer to L.A.”
So what does Foxx want to make out of this new site? What can other prodigies in rural Texas, Kansas City, or Japan hope to accomplish by sub-mitting slices of their own life?
“I want this site to become a talent pool for Hollywood. Singing, acting, comedy, whatever people can do, we’ll put it up there — whether it’s good or bad. And we’ll highlight a list of the people we feel are the strongest ones. I’d like professional people in the industry to visit the site and, judging from the supply-and-demand factor, we’ll showcase the kind of performers those professionals are looking for.”
Foxx is in a good position to pro-mote FoxxStarHunt. He stars in New Line’s “Bait,” opening Sept. 15, which means he’s slated to make numerous promotional appearances.
But while this is a case of a Foxx project building the reputation of the Web site, the shoe will be on the other foot in a few months. He is also preparing a variety show that will likely be a midseason replacement.
FoxxStarHunt is precisely the place the actor and his team will look to garner acts for the series. And judging from the current popularity of reality-based TV, Foxx’s open invitation to average folks may prove a pretty clever convergence.
Foxx seems a particularly well-suited personality to spearhead such a multitalent concept. A comic-actor-musician, Foxx, who earned critical kudos for his role in Oliver Stone’s football drama “Any Given Sunday,” contributed a song to that film’s sound-track. And his 1994 album “Peep This” sported enough credibility to nab the No. 12 spot on Billboard’s R&B chart.
And those quick to dismiss Foxx’s musical endeavors as the dalliances of another Hollywood dilettante should consider: He was a keyboard prodigy as a child and spent his college years studying classical piano.
But perhaps the biggest inspiration for FoxxStarHunt can be found in the performer’s own roots, having grown up in a small Texas town.
“Never mind that I wasn’t close to New York or Los Angeles — I wasn’t even close to Dallas. I felt a thousand miles from anything,” he says.