Electric company

Electric company
Movie Still: Jamie Foxx as Electro in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, starring Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone.

Confession time: I have never liked Jamie Foxx.

Perhaps I just couldn't shake off the loud, brassy and flamboyant persona he cultivated since his early days as a stand-up comedian, and even on the sitcom, The Jamie Foxx Show.

So I was pleasantly surprised at the soft-spoken gentleman sitting before me at Fuse Bar in Marina Bay Sands.

Foxx was in town last month to promote The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and also to take part in Earth Hour, a conservation awareness event.

The US actor was accompanied by Spider-Man co-stars Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone, and director Marc Webb.

Foxx was slightly early for the interview, so the 46-year-old waited patiently for Stone to wrap up.

And just a minute into our interview, the charismatic Foxx had charmed us all just by talking earnestly about how he tried to inject humanity into his characters.

In The Amazing Spider-Man 2, which opens here May 1, we get to see Foxx in two different roles.

Initially, he is Max Dillon, an electrical engineer with bad hair at Oscorp Industries, content to be a small fry who idolises Spider-Man.

A freak accident turns him into Electro, an angry, crazy, blue-coloured baddie with the power to control electricity.

Foxx explained that Max became obsessed with Spider-Man (Garfield) after the web-slinger helped him out of trouble.

But when he felt betrayed by Spidey, an "uncontrollable rage came out".

"(Max) just snapped and when a person's mind goes, it's a very tricky situation. Max became evil and sinister," he said.

Being obsessed with something or someone is "quite common in real life", Foxx said, adding that he found inspiration from "over-zealous fans who are on the borderline of insanity", much like Electro.

MORE SERIOUS ROLES

And judging by his recent work, it is no wonder that Foxx has his fair share of passionate fans.

Born Eric Marlon Bishop, he started out as a stand-up comic and took on his stage name.

Foxx only began taking on more serious roles in 2004, where he played legendary blues musician Ray Charles in the biopic Ray.

It paid off handsomely, winning Foxx an Oscar for Best Actor.

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