The Soloist |


Jamie Foxx, Robert Downey Jr., ...

(Francois Duhamel)

From fire-breathing A-types (Jarhead, Miami Vice, The Kingdom) to eccentric geniuses (Ray, which netted him a Best Actor Oscar), Jamie Foxx has an affinity for portraying guys on the brink. The 40-year-old actor is ready to do it again with The Soloist, as a musical prodigy who winds up schizophrenic, homeless, and busking on L.A. street ? corners until he’s befriended by a soul-scarred journalist (Robert Downey Jr.). Director Joe Wright (Atonement) took a social-realist approach to this true story, populating the cast with actual homeless and mentally ill people, who provided a reality check for the stars. “When you’re acting with someone suffering from schizophrenia, you’ve got to ? be true,” says Wright. Straddling the line between madness and sanity drove Foxx into some dark places. “I couldn’t sleep at night,” the actor says. 4/24