Corinne Foxx on Making Her Own Mark in Hollywood
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Old-school Hollywood thinking isn’t part of Corinne Foxx‘s schtick. Back in the day, it was assumed that actors could only be actors and writers could only be writers. This second-generation thespian knows she can do it all and, well, she’s doing just that. When she’s not honing her acting skills in class or developing to-be-announced projects, Corinne can be found podcasting (Am I Doing This Right?), hosting (Beat Shazam) or executive-producing (Dad, Stop Embarrassing Me!). In short, she is the epitome of that ever-elusive and always-evolving archetype, the “creative.”
“I think a lot of it is just what excites me. If you’re going to dedicate your time and your energy and take it away from other things, it has to be something that is exciting,” she told BlogHer. “But also, I have to feel passionate about what I’m doing and the mission behind it.”
Ahead, the BlogHer speaker gives us a peek inside her daily life, from breaking down her behind-the-scenes work to having a life coach, and more.
Can you demystify the role of an Executive Producer?
Originally, when I got the job, I was just a producer on [Dad, Stop Embarrassing Me!], and then I was promoted, while we were shooting, from Producer to Executive Producer. A lot of it is looking at the entire project as a whole and really having your toe dipped in every aspect of it. I was in the writer’s room every day. I was involved in casting and production and working with the talent.
It’s looking at a show or project holistically, whereas everybody else on set has a very specific function. You’re there to make sure everyone’s working harmoniously, and so you’re a little bit of a peacekeeper as well.
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You work alongside your father [Jamie Foxx]. A lot of creatives are hesitant about mixing business with family and friends. How do you make it work?
I have been really lucky that my dad and I creatively really understand each other. I grew up going to set, so I knew exactly how he worked. There were going to be no surprises down the line. I think a lot of times when you work with friends and family, maybe they’re a different person when they’re at work. They have a different energy and you’re like, “oh, wait, I didn’t know you were like this.” Know how they work.
I had a really good gauge of my dad’s work ethic, and he also understood that about me. And I think also just respecting that you’re going to have opposite opinions on things and talking ahead of time about how you’re going to resolve that.
As someone who has her hands in a lot of things, how do you decide what not to manage?
This was my first time executive producing, so I felt like I was learning everything on the job. I really just gravitated towards the things that I had a strong opinion about or felt like I really wanted to take the lead on. For me, sitting in the writers’ room and writing was something that I felt passionately about, especially because it was my story, whereas there were other things that I really trusted other people’s opinions on.
I was the only female producer on set, and I approved everyone’s wardrobe. They always sent it to me and that was what I did. I didn’t let the guys do that one, so there are things that you have strengths in and you lean into those areas a little bit more.
The question everyone wants to ask a multi-hyphenate: how do you balance it all?
I’m continuously in acting class and groups, working on that muscle because you have to keep learning. With producing, I’ve taken this experience of being an EP and I’m now using it as I’m developing other projects and feeling more confident. It’s repetition but it’s still balanced. I make sure I’m hitting all of these different areas and giving them the attention they need.
I’m a Type A person but being a creative, you get lost in your craft a lot. I actually just got a life coach and what she does is looks at my schedule and my projects. Because I run independently—I don’t have a boss I check in with that gives me deadlines—she was like, okay: Monday, you’re the podcast host. Tuesday, you’re a producer. Wednesday, you’re an actor.
I have a therapist that I talk about my feelings to, but this woman is like a workout coach. Like, when are you turning this in? When are you going to finish that script? Just giving me that structure, because I felt overwhelmed with the number of projects I had, and also a little bit of that fear. I see her every Tuesday, so I’m like, I better get this done because she’s going to ask about it.
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How do you stay inspired?
I have such a long slate of things that I am developing, that I don’t have a loss of inspiration, because when I do finish a project, I have like five or six more that I’m really excited about. Honestly, sometimes I have to completely detach from my creative side, so I’ll watch cooking shows just to decompress because I feel like my brain is on 24/7. When you’re not trying to be creative, that’s when things come to you.
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