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Annie’s Cameron Diaz and Jamie Foxx

December 17, 2014

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By: Lynn Barker

In the updated musical movie Annie, Cameron Diaz plays the mean foster mom Miss Hannigan and Jamie Foxx is a rich business mogul who wants to be mayor but has no time for a personal life, especially one that might include kids. Both characters change as the film goes along and the stars tell reporters about changes in their own lives. And, yeah, while we’re at it, why can’t be all just be kinder to each other?

Check out what the Annie actors have to say about self-worth and the fact that modern kids and teens are color-blind. Let’s all just spread the love this holiday season!

Q: Did you like doing a musical, Cameron?

  • Cameron: I loved it. It was a lot of fun and an experience I couldn’t say no to. Who gets to sing and dance in a movie? Singing isn’t what I do professionally so it was a challenge for me which I really enjoyed because I knew I would be surrounded by the best teachers and professionals and they really helped me find the best voice that I was capable of singing with.

Hannigan (Cameron Diaz) yells at the foster girlsHannigan (Cameron Diaz) yells at the foster girlsCourtesy of Sony Pictures

Q: Did you get a lot of advice from Jamie and others?

  • Cameron: Nope. It’s not that he didn’t offer it. There was just no time.
  • Jamie: We needed more time with every aspect. Our first day on the set together was like the funnest part. I know her. We had a great time but we didn’t have any more scenes together so we long for that. Something has to give.
  • Cameron: One of these days we’re gonna pair back up, maybe not as Hannigan and Stacks.

Hannigan, Mr. Stacks, Annie and Grace (Rose Byrne) in final numberHannigan, Mr. Stacks, Annie and Grace (Rose Byrne) in final numberCourtesy of Sony Pictures

Q: What was with your character Stacks wearing a wig, Jamie? (Note: in the original Annie comic and film, Daddy Warbucks, who is similar to Jamie’s character, is bald).

  • Jamie: I think that was (director) Will Gluck’s idea. That went back and forth. It’s so funny and the kids love it. My daughter loves that little scene so any way to get a chuckle (Cameron laughs). Look at you, you just laughed.

Jamie Foxx as Mr. Stacks campaigning for mayorJamie Foxx as Mr. Stacks campaigning for mayorCourtesy of Sony Pictures

Q: This is more of a modern and urbanized Annie. Do you think it’s essential to make such an iconic musical and have it relate to young people who maybe would not like the original as much as this newer version?

  • Cameron: It think that we forget because we’ve all seen the original (1980’s movie) that there’s a whole generation that’s never seen it. They didn’t see the original so this is their Annie. This is the only Annie they might know so it won’t appear urban to them. It’s just going to be a movie that is what it is. Kids listen to pop music and I think you could play any of these songs on the radio and you wouldn’t question it.
  • Jamie: Yeah and it’s interesting too, because I’m doing an album and it’s interesting to hear older people (put music into) “categories”. We’ll say “urban”, we’ll say “pop” but the kids don’t see it that way. I went in to pitch a show and they started talking about “urban” and I took these guys to see ‘Lil Wayne in concert. When we got there, I said, “I want you to count how many (so-called) “urban” people are in here.”  I looked around and it was thousands of white kids with their hands in the air.
  • Kids don’t look at it like that anymore. It’s just music to them. It’s weird because I was guilty of it with my own daughter (talking black or white or urban or pop). I would say certain things and I think she should have a TV show called “My Generation” because she would say “Dad, my generation doesn’t think that way. It’s all you guys”. It was interesting doing Annie because I think kids are just going to go and check it out (without categorizing it).

A sad Miss Hannigan (Cameron Diaz)A sad Miss Hannigan (Cameron Diaz)Courtesy of Sony Pictures

Q: Very cool! Cameron, why did you want to play Miss Hannigan? Some would say she isn’t very glam.

  • Cameron: Ohhhh, I think Miss Hannigan is really glamorous, hello! She is ready to be a star any minute. She’s ready to get called up to the big leagues. (Jamie is saying “yeah” and “oh yeah”). She’s colorful. I think that our society today concentrates on the wrong thing. They think that fame and celebrity and money will make them happy. They think that the accolades of millions validate who they are and that’s Miss Hannigan.
  • She’s miserable. She’s treating herself and the kids terribly because she doesn’t feel good enough because she missed her chance at being a star. Her moment didn’t happen so, instead of moving on and learning to love herself and let other people love her, she is stuck in that moment and is beating herself up for it. She’s treating the little girls around her and a man who wants to love her, the same way she’s treating herself. She’s being unkind. The song “Who Am I?” works for all our characters. They all have this massive identity crisis and open themselves up for love. It’s a breakthrough.

Miss Hannigan (Cameron Diaz) scolds her foster girlsMiss Hannigan (Cameron Diaz) scolds her foster girlsCourtesy of Sony Pictures

Q: You both seem to have it together. What still makes you worry or think?

  • Cameron: (I wonder why) people are so mean.
  • Jamie: Interesting. I say that all the time. What is wrong with everybody? It’s crazy.
  • Cameron: I figured it out playing Miss Hannigan. People don’t love themselves. They can’t be kind. I want people to learn how to love themselves; know they can receive love and give love. That’s the most important thing to me. We might have a kinder world.
  • Jamie: Yeah.

Mr. Stacks (Jamie Foxx) sings with Annie (Quvenzhane Wallis)Mr. Stacks (Jamie Foxx) sings with Annie (Quvenzhane Wallis)Courtesy of Sony Pictures

Q: Is being an artist and such a varied entertainer a quest for love for you Jamie?

  • Jamie: I think we’ve been put here to entertain. People would ask me “What’s your thing?” and I just think we’re here to put smiles on faces. I’m tripping on what she just said. The mean people, the people that are so hell-bent on f-ing the world up, I think (entertainers) are the balance. We’re ready to be fun. Like I was working with Eddie Murphy, I was like I’ve seen this dude work for years and to see him turn it on and people just light up, I think we’re put here for that.
  • Cameron: Giving is receiving and so if we’re putting out love, we have to be open to receiving it so we can give more. That’s a cycle. You can’t have one without the other.

Stacks reads the card Annie gave himStacks reads the card Annie gave himCourtesy of Sony Pictures

Q: Jamie, having kids changes a lot of people, including your character Stacks in the movie. Do you identify with that?

  • Jamie: Oh yeah. I (used to be) the first dude at the party, last dude to leave the party. It was all about that and Thank God, there was no social media at the time…
  • Cameron: There are a whole group of people who wouldn’t have a career (laughter).
  • Jamie: When I had my daughter, I changed. You start living for them. My youngest daughter even made it a bigger choice to live differently. My daughter is with me five days a week but I scheduled it on the weekends on purpose, Friday, Saturday, Sunday so there is no way I could go party. It really changed me. I look at all of my friends that used to party. Now that we all have kids, these (people have changed). Some of my friends who don’t have kids will call up, ‘Yo, Foxx, what’s doin’ over there? I know it’s got to be crazy” and I’m (telling my daughter) “Don’t do that. Get offa that”. It changes you in a good way.

Annie PosterAnnie PosterCourtesy of Sony Pictures

Check out Annie in theaters December 19th!