Jamie Foxx Says He ‘Saw the Tunnel’ During Health Scare, Jokes About Clones and Hell in Moving Speech

According to Foxx, he "couldn't actually walk" just six months ago. "I saw the tunnel. I didn’t see the light. It was hot in that tunnel. I didn’t know where I was going," he said.

jamie foxx at red carpet event
Image via Getty/Joe Maher
jamie foxx at red carpet event

Jamie Foxx made a surprise appearance at Monday night’s Critics Choice Celebration of Cinema & Television event, where he reflected on how a health scare earlier this year gave him “a new respect” for both his life and his art.

Foxx, whose most recent film The Burial saw him starring alongside Tommy Lee Jones, was on hand to accept the evening's Vanguard Award. Per a report from Deadline, the Oscar-winning actor's appearance was not on the announced lineup for the special event, nor did Foxx participate in the usual red-carpet chats.

“I’ve been through some things,” Foxx told the audience when he took the podium. “You know, it’s crazy. I couldn’t do that six months ago. I couldn’t actually walk.”

As previously reported, Foxx’s daughter said back in April that her father had been hospitalized due to a medical issue of an undisclosed nature. Weeks later, Foxx's family refuted speculation about his condition, saying it was "sad to see how the media runs wild."

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In his acceptance speech on Monday, Foxx balanced his gift for quick wit with sobering reflections on the unstoppable passing of time, ultimately touching on everything from clone jokes (“I’m not a clone”) to how much he valued his family for helping to keep his recovery process away from the public eye.

"It feels good to be here," he said. "I cherish every single minute now. It’s different. It’s beyond. I wouldn’t wish what I went through on my worst enemy because it’s tough when it’s almost over, when you see the tunnel. red-carpet 'Shit. Am I going to the right place?'"

Foxx also remembered a particularly touching exchange he shared with an employee at a Chicago health facility he had to check into earlier this year, pointing to this moment as pivotal in keeping him motivated and excited to return to doing what he loves.

But perhaps the most inspiring moment from Monday night's speech arrived toward the end, with Foxx urging everyone listening to "never give up" on their own artistic journeys.

"I have a new respect for life. I have a new respect for my art," he said. "I watched so many movies and listened to so many songs trying to have the time go by. Don’t give up on your art, man. Don’t give up on your art. ... When you realize that it could be over like that, your grandmothers say, 'Testify.' So I gotta say, don’t give up on your art. And don’t let 'em take the art from you either." 

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