‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’: Jamie Foxx Talks Returning as Electro and Big ‘Moments’ In the Movie
"Just looking to my right, and looking to my left, the people that were onset, and going, ‘Wow, It's a moment.’"
Electro is back, and he’s brighter than ever — literally and physically. Jamie Foxx returns as Maxwell Dillon, last seen in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, opposite a web-slinger played by Andrew Garfield. In Spider-Man: No Way Home, Tom Holland’s Peter Parker accidentally cracks open the Multiverse via a Doctor Strange-spell gone horribly wrong and finds himself face to face with this new foe, Electro. And this time, Electro can feel how much power this universe possesses, and he doesn’t want to give it up.
Ahead of the movie’s release, Marvel.com talked to Foxx about stepping back into the electrifying character and how he’s excited to portray this brand-new version of the classic villain on the big screen alongside new, and surprising, Spidey friends and foes.
MARVEL: What was the conversation when you were approached to return? Is it a phone call like, “Hey, we've got this idea…?”
JAMIE FOXX: [Producer] Amy Pascal, who's been so supportive of my career, brought it up to me and I was like, ‘Man, oh yeah, I want to be in there.’ And the fact that I’m coming to this new universe and I look different, and the fact that they were able to craft something that was slick, simplified, but cool.
Once you get that then, look, you've seen the movie. You see all these cool people, man. You see all these cool people in this movie? Are you kidding me?
When I came on, there were some tears. There comes the tears; I said, ‘Whoa, this is about to happen.’ So when you get that call, they work it out and now you're onset with some of the most incredible actors and actresses in the world. I mean how can you not be happy about it?
MARVEL: How did you work to change Electro from the last time we saw him in Amazing Spider Man 2 to now? Yes, you said he has a new look but has anything else changed that viewers should be aware of.
JAMIE FOXX: The [biggest] thing that changed is that he acknowledged the way he looked. He acknowledged, ‘Oh, I like this, I dig this.’ By doing that, it answers any questions like why or what's this thing? Being able to do that, and just bringing a little of the way I wanted to talk and how I wanted to present myself, [Electro] has a little hipness to him.
MARVEL: Let's talk about Electro’s design, because it is a brand-new look from top to bottom. First of all, you're not glowing blue anymore. How did you bring that to life? What was the process?
JAMIE FOXX: That was the whole team. A whole Spider-Man team on how to make this guy cool. How do we make him impactful, but make him a little more grounded? When he acquired some [abilities], it really made sense in the way he was able to project himself.
MARVEL: This isn't a spoiler because I've seen it in stills, I've seen it in trailers. The new almost plain clothes costume you have is an electrician's costume, can you talk to me about that?
JAMIE FOXX: Well, it's electrician-chic. What I'm saying is that it's fly. It's not a cape or anything like that. I really dug that. That's cool because it keeps it practical. ‘Practical magic’ is what you could call it, because he's so practical. When they put the CGI on it, we were really gifted in the way the costume lit up as a wink and nod to the comic book character. That gives us room so that when they strap it up again, it's like ‘Yo, maybe I might need to get a costume to go with this.’
MARVEL: You're returning to a character you've played before, but now you're in a brand-new Spider-Man world. What was the most just jarring thing or the thing you were most excited to find out in this version of Spider-Man?
JAMIE FOXX: The thing Electro gets in his chest; he gets ahold of [the arc reactor], that's going to be crazy. And just looking to my right, and looking to my left, the people that were onset, and going, ‘Wow, It's a moment.’ It transcends art right now. This is a moment that people- and I remember saying, ‘When you walk out sir, there will be cheers and tears.’
It was crazy. I'm actually hanging on a [stunt rig] waiting for this moment to happen. When he walked out, I was like, ‘Ooh, [singing] Hercules!’ There was some heart in it. That's what made doing this film really special.
MARVEL: You talk about being on a stunt rig. Let's talk about some of the stunts you are actually doing in the movie. What was it like literally flying high in the air?
JAMIE FOXX: Oh, it's crazy and you got some of the greatest stunt guys in the world and the fact that they know how to get the cameras in the right place and pull off those things. When you're watching the movie, it looks seamless. Then you watch Tom Holland do his stunts practically on the line jumping and I said, ‘Oh, I'm all good.’ Because usually, I do my stunts from the chair [because my stunt-double steps in].
[Mock calling to his double] ‘OK, tell them to flip again. Oh, that's great.’ It was great to get up in the harness and get cracking.
MARVEL: Is there any stunt you know you did that made it into the final movie that you're very proud of?
JAMIE FOXX: For me, just to be on that harness; I didn't care whatever they caught. But it all felt good, it felt good.
MARVEL: Electro is now alongside villains he's never met before like, Green Goblin and Doc Ock. What was it like filming alongside Willem Dafoe and Alfred Molina, because you three of you serve as the core villains of this film?
JAMIE FOXX: Just the most incredible people. When people have this sheer talent, like there's no doubt about it, they're just cooler. Mr. Dafoe — as I would call him — every time I walked onto set, I would bow seven times [at him]. I said, ‘I'm going to bow seven times because I've been watching [your movies] for years and you’re just amazing.’ It was just so funny and when he wasn't doing his thing, he was doing jokes and everything like that, which is usually what I do; he had me on the ground cracking up. When you're able to come together for something that's fun, with people that you really admire and respect, that's just the cherry on top.
MARVEL: I saw an interview with Tom Holland the other day and he says you have one of the funniest scenes he's ever seen in any Marvel movie.
JAMIE FOXX: Is that right?
MARVEL: That's what he said! I believe I know what scene he's talking about is your introduction. Do you agree or disagree with this assessment?
JAMIE FOXX: Hey, if he says it, man, that's my guy. That's my guy. If he says that, I'm with it, baby. I'm with it. I even went down but we were having fun. That's what I loved about director [Jon Watts]. He was always making sure that we were having fun and trying it several different ways, which you don't get that a lot. With him, he was just wide open.
MARVEL: It's not a stretch at all to say this is the most anticipated movie of the year, if honestly not the decade. What has it been like with this fan demand since the moment you were announced as returning for the movie? What has it been like just being immersed in this new world?
JAMIE FOXX: Young kids at basketball games are like, [mimics holding a phone up to record] ‘Dude, tell us what's going on? What do you know? He's no-- he's right there dude!’
So I've been [followed] a little bit. People want to know what's going on, but the one thing that I will tell you is that they're excited. When you talk about our industry and trying to get back on track movie-wise, this is a perfect film. I think it was said maybe a year ago that if there's any film that can put a jolt in the arm of the movie industry, it's going to be Spider-Man: No Way Home and it looks like it might be the one.
Spider-Man: No Way Home is now playing in theaters. Get tickets now!
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