Soul: Director Pete Docter Talks Jamie Foxx's Boundless Energy

People don't always understand that voice acting and in-person acting are two very different things, and just because someone can do one doesn't mean that they can do the other. That's why we sometimes get really awkward celebrity voice acting performances in movies. The ones that can do both tend to be amazing, and Jame Foxx is very much one of those actors. Soul director Pete Docter was asked during the virtual global press conference what it was like working with Foxx, and he cited an anecdote about another Pixar veteran.

I remember Tom Hanks saying that he felt that voice acting work is the most exhausting because in live-action you're on for a minute, two, three minutes. And then, cut. And then, we have to do something. And you wait around for an hour. And then, you're back on.

Soul: Director Pete Docter Talks Jamie Foxx's Boundless Energy
Jamie Foxx arrives for the 2020 American Black Film Festival Honors on February 23, 2020, in Beverly Hills, CA. Editorial credit: DFree /

Docter went on to say that in-person is more like short bursts while doing a voice acting session in a recording booth is several hours long. Docter said that he was so impressed by the sheer amount of energy Foxx brought to his recording sessions for Soul. 

Jamie never stopped. He just has the energy to burn. He was as energetic at the end as he was at the beginning. He's incredible and amazing. For whatever reason, it surprised me. We had a lot of scenes where Joe talks about the power of music and the importance of music. And my hair stood on end when I hear Jamie talk about it. Because I know he feels that. He believes it so fully. And it was just so truthful and authentic. There was so much that we got from Jamie beyond just individual reads. But just his sense of life and energy. And it was fantastic. It was a dream come true working with him.

Soul was supposed to get the big-screen treatment, but because people don't know how to wear masks, it had to get moved to Disney+. However, it's a great family movie and one that Disney+ subscribers will really enjoy watching today after opening presents or just enjoying the day off from work if you aren't celebrating Christmas.

A musician who has lost his passion for music is transported out of his body and must find his way back with the help of an infant soul learning about herself.

Soul, directed by Pete Docter and co-directed by Kemp Powers, stars Jamie Foxx, Tina Fey, Daveed Diggs, Phylicia Rashad, and John Ratzenberger. It will be released on Disney+ on December 25th.

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About Kaitlyn Booth

Kaitlyn is the Editor-in-Chief at Bleeding Cool. She loves movies, television, and comics. She's a member of the UFCA and the GALECA. Feminist. Writer. Nerd. Follow her on twitter @katiesmovies and @safaiagem on instagram. She's also a co-host at The Nerd Dome Podcast. Listen to it at
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