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A roundtable with Jamie Foxx

Meeting Jamie Foxx was an animated experience.

Instead of the standard run-of-the-mill interview, the Oscar winner kept reporters entertained with funny jokes and lively demeanor at a suite inside the W South Beach to promote his new movie,

Rio.

This time, the actor asked the questions — and tricked reporters into playing a personality test that taught us a thing or two about ourselves. With questions such as, “Describe your ideal vase? What’s in it?” and “You’re on a boat — do you see land near or only water?” he had everyone in the suite wondering what was next. His lightheartedness, of course, is what makes him such a charmer. In

Ri

o, which opens Friday, Foxx plays Nico, a “fun and flighty” bird, whose comparable style is uncannily like the star’s: “We’re both about love and romance and see the glass half full.”The movie also stars

Anne Hathaway, Jesse Eisenberg, George Lopez

and

will.i.am

, who plays Foxx’s sidekick in the movie. “It was a little weird at first,’’ Foxx says of his animated role. “I’m used to acting with my body and face.” During filming, Foxx learned to enjoy relying on his voice instead of facial expressions. And the job beat working 12 hour days. “It was pretty simple. I’d show up for a few hours, wear what I wanted, and then go home.”Overall, he says the experience was “mind-blowing,” how “they would take your voice and put in onscreen.”He also got a free trip to Rio de Janeiro. “You see, a lot of women don’t want you to go to Rio … it’s the most beautiful place in the world for a lot of reasons.” When Foxx isn’t chatting up Brazilian bombshells, he’s partying VIP style in South Beach. “I remember when I first came [to Miami] about 15 years ago. I sat in front of the Clevelander and watched the people come and go. I think we did about nine shots of tequila that day.” He can close down a club, but the 43-year-old has his serious side, too. His 2005 Academy Award and Golden Globe wins for his portrayal of

Ray Charles

taught him a few things about Hollywood. “When I was nominated for an Oscar I was going to joke it away,” he recalled. “But then

Oprah Winfrey

took me to

Quincy Jones

’ house, and [Jones] introduced me to

Sidney Poitier

and said, ‘You have to take this serious because there are a lot of people who are going to be validated by what you’re doing.’ ” Nowadays, the dad of two focuses on making himself and his fans happy. “I’m never worried about Oscars, Grammys or any of that,” he says. “I do what I do, and if you dig it, cool.”

Micaela Hood Micaela Hood

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