Jamie Foxx has been considered an acting heavyweight, even before he shocked the world with his performance as the late great Ray Charles back in 2006. Foxx is now utilizing his chameleon-like acting prowess to play former heavyweight boxer Mike Tyson in a biopic directed by Martin Scorsese, his first movie about boxing since 1980’s Raging Bull. 

Tyson’s led a fairly intense life, climbing up from the streets of Bed-Stuy and becoming one of the most brutal boxers to ever step into the ring, followed by his rape conviction and conversion to Islam. After a high-riding comeback streak, he hung up his gloves in 2006 after declaring bankruptcy three years prior. But his legacy and tons of endorsements (including an animated show on Adult Swim) kept Iron Mike in the public eye.

That’s a lot of ground to cover for a biopic, and Foxx said that he definitely felt the pressure when Scorsese pitched the movie to studios in an interview:

Listen, to be in the same room pitching Mike Tyson to Paramount, Mike Tyson is on one side, I’m on the other side and doing Mike Tyson at the same time.

He went on record saying, “I want it to be where I’m sitting next to his kids and they say ‘That’s dad.’ Foxx also recalled the heated instance where he first met Tyson:

At 21 or 22, I go to my Mike Tyson joke and nobody laughs at all. I say “What’s up?,” and a dude in the back said “Yo, Mike Tyson is in here…” Then he said “Mike said do the joke, and it’d better be funny,” so I do the joke and get a standing ovation…

Check out that joke below and listen to Jamie’s on-point impersonation. No word on when the biopic will make it to theaters, but I can tell already this is gonna be a good one.

Dylan “CineMasai” Green is a movie geek, hip-hop aficionado, and pita chip enthusiast. Find him on Twitter.

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