Jamie Foxx says he, David Alan Grier ‘secretly both jealous of Martin Lawrence,’ talks ‘Dad Stop Embarrassing Me!’
The Netflix star dishes on his reunion with David Alan Grier and how he "got the bug" to return to television
Jamie Foxx is reclaiming his title as the one of the funniest men on television.
The 53-year-old actor is returning to the small screen with a starring role in Netflix’s Dad Stop Embarrassing Me!, a sitcom based on the real-life relationship between the Foxx and his daughter, Corinne Foxx. Jamie told theGrio exclusively that the show, executive produced by himself and Corinne, is meant to “bring some light into the world.”
“It feels great [to return to sitcoms]. I got the bug because we did Live in Front of a Studio Audience with George Jefferson. So when we did that, I said, ‘Oh, man, this is still live,'” he explained. “So we’ve been having this idea with myself and my daughter for a long time. Dad Stop Embarrassing Me, like it’s all of our stories. So when Netflix came into play, I said, ‘This is smart.'”
“This is great to do it on Netflix because you can watch Netflix, you sort of binge watch, and they sort of let us cook our own food in a sense. [There wasn’t] a whole overhead. So we got lucky. We got blessed with having Kyla-Drew on air, and David Alan Grier on, so all the ingredients made sense. We can go and have some fun, and put some light into the world right now. We need some light.”
Dad Stop Embarrassing Me! represents a reunion for Jamie and Grier, who previously worked together on the now-iconic ’90s sketch comedy series In Living Color. The Oscar winner jokingly shared that the two “secretly are both jealous of Martin Lawrence,” and the show has finally given them the opportunity to do the character work they always admired in Martin.
“[David] saved the show. The show was gonna be good, but he makes it great. We’re comfortable, it’s like watching two old lions, just comfortable,” Jamie said. “He’s so funny. He takes over the room and comes with great suggestions on how to build, not the stories, but the chemistry. So that’s the biggest thing on television shows is finding that chemistry. Once we found that chemistry with him, the show just took off. That’s why, fingers crossed, that we do get the second season because there’s so many things we want to do.”
“The thing in our back pocket is characters. We’ve been talking about all the characters we want to play because David and I actually went on and did another movie together right afterwards. So we were like, ‘Wow, we’ll be able to do this character, and this character.’ We’ll bring all these different things back because we secretly are both jealous of Martin Lawrence. The Martin Lawrence show [Martin] when he played all the characters like, ‘Yo, man, this is the time. We get another crack at this, we about to crank them characters out.'”
And while many parents might shy away from working with their children, Jamie is not one of them. The actor said that he was thrilled to work with his daughter, Corinne, and learned how to adjust to her new position as the person in charge after some trial and error.
“I’ll be doing something funny on stage, I think I’m doing something funny, and she’ll call down be like, ‘Yeah that ain’t funny. You trying to get canceled? That ain’t funny,'” he dished. “Putting everything together, like the trailer, she really had the right touch in order to take something that is retro and retrofit it so that we can all understand it in today’s world. Her mind is amazing. Spirit is great. She’s doing great things and will continue to do great things knock on wood.”
Kyla-Drew, who stars as Sasha Dixon, the character based on Corinne, said that working with the 27-year-old producer was “amazing.” Being one of the only teenagers on set, it was Kyla-Drew who had to teach the rest of the cast about the cool, Gen Z trends that may not know about.
“I was most definitely teaching them the Gen Z perspective to life,” Kyla-Drew said with a laugh. “I think a lot of us bonded over music. Jamie has this bookbag, which plays music, and he would play old school stuff, introducing me to stuff. But of course, I had to play, you know, the babys—DaBaby, Lil Baby—introducing him to more Gen Z music. We definitely did that all throughout the show while filming.”
Kyla-Drew added, “I cannot emphasize this enough, [Corinne] is thee girl boss. She’s on top of everything. She knows what she wants when she wants it. She’s amazing and such an inspiration to a young black girl like myself.”
Dad Stop Embarrassing Me! is available to stream on Netflix now. Fans watch theGrio‘s full interview with Jamie Foxx and Kyla-Drew above.
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