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Jamie Foxx On Getting Cameron Diaz to End Retirement, Talks 'Intense' Stunts in 'Day Shift' (Exclusive)

ETOnline logo ETOnline 8/3/2022 Zach Seemayer‍
© Getty Images, ET

Jamie Foxx knows how to sell a project. The actor has been credited with convincing Cameron Diaz to come out of retirement for an upcoming project, and he opened up to ET about how he talked her into it.

Foxx spoke with ET, alongside his Day Shift co-stars, Dave Franco and Karla Souza, while promoting their new action-horror comedy, and he talked about getting Diaz to sign on to his forthcoming Netflix production, Back in Action.

"Cameron is such an incredible force and she has done so much in this business," Foxx says of the celebrated actress, whom he shared the screen with in 2014's Annie. "We love her."

Foxx explained that getting her to come on board basically involved asking her, 'Do you wanna have some fun? Just have some fun!' And I think that's what brought her to it."

"We miss special moments sometimes, in our business, and I think this is a special moment," he says of Diaz's return to movies. "So we're so happy that it's happening and looking forward to it."

"Jamie’s the greatest leader in this business," Franco adds with a smile. "He is the best. No. 1 on everyone’s [list]."

"We had to be very innovative in how we, you know, brought her back," Foxx says, referring to the phone call he facilitated between Diaz and NFL icon Tom Brady, who shared some tips with Diaz on how to come back into the spotlight after deciding to un-retire.

As for the film itself,  ET has learned that Back in Action, an action comedy, will be directed by Seth Gordon, who previously helmed Horrible Bosses. Gordon co-wrote the script with Brendan O’Brien, best known for penning the 2014 film Neighbors.

Additional plot details about the flick, for which Foxx is serving as an executive producer, are being kept under wraps.

Diaz announced her retirement from acting in 2018. Then, in August 2021, Diaz revealed why she stepped away from acting.

"When you do something at a really high level for a long period of time," Diaz told Kevin Hart on his Hart to Heart talk show, "there are parts of your life that end up being handed off to other people."

However, it appears that the chance to work opposite Foxx on a fun project was one she didn't want to turn down.

Meanwhile, Foxx is starring opposite Franco and Souza in the Netflix original movie Day Shift, in which the Oscar winner plays a down-on-his-luck dad who makes his living hunting down and killing bloodsucking vampires that live among us.

The film, directed by J. J. Perry, showcases some truly intense and creative stunts and action sequences -- so they turned to some of the best in the business.

"We had the stunt people who worked on the John Wick movies and so, like, these are some of the best stunt people in the world," Franco shares. "So we came in and they gave us all goals of what they wanted us to reach and I think all of us are, like, very ambitious, so we're like, 'All right, let's push it further! Let's do things that will surprise [people].'"

When asked what parts of the movie were the most intense to shoot, Foxx recalled, "I think it was when we had to do the long action sequence... at the very beginning of the movie," which involved shooting with a contortionist.

"What you don't realize about an action movie is you'll do an action sequence for the entire week, you'll do five straight days of it. And you're like, 'Wow, I can't believe we got through that! All right, we're past that, what's next?' And then you go on right into another one that's another five days in a row," Franco says. "It's just relentless, but it's so fun."

The film also balances a lot of action and comedy -- and isn't afraid to get a bit meta, with Foxx and Franco's characters both making some jokes about the Twilight film franchise. As it turns out, Franco did nearly as much to prepare for that as he did for his fight scenes.

"I did watch the Twilight movies to prepare, yeah. I wanted to know if I was getting my references right," he explains. "I watched as many vampire movies as I could... Each one has its own mythology so it's interesting to see, all right, what are they doing? What can we do that feels unique compared to what's come before us?"

For Souza -- who plays a centuries-old vampire posing as a successful real-estate agent -- she turned to one of the most iconic cult classic vampire movies of all time, 1987's The Lost Boys, and prepared for the sinister role by "channeling my inner Kiefer Sutherland."

Day Shift premieres Aug. 12 on Netflix.

Cameron Diaz Unretires and Reunites With Jamie Foxx in First Film Since 2014

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