Someone Slipped Jamie Foxx a Mickey
Jamie Foxx has revealed he spent 11 months in mental hell after someone slipped drugs in his drink when he was a teenager.
The Oscar winner, who plays a mentally-challenged musician in new movie The Soloist, admits he didn't take the role lightly - because he knew how easy it is for someone to lose his or her mind.
Admitting he has rarely spoken about his past mental health issues, he tells the Los Angeles Times:
"When I was 18, somebody slipped something in my drink and it ripped me apart. I had to go to the hospital. I mean, I was gone, it was the kind of trip that... you're losing your mind. I kept thinking, 'I can't live like this'. It didn't go away, either - for 11 months, I had flashbacks. After what happened when I was 18, when I was at music school, at International University in San Diego, I had a roommate named Mark, a white kid from Nebraska, he would have to talk me to sleep because I would have all of these crazy thoughts. I would go down to the pianos... and I would just play music for hours on end just to keep my mind from the crazy stuff."
And those flashbacks returned as Foxx played real-life schizophrenic Nathaniel Ayers in the Soloist. The actor/singer also suffered panic attacks and bouts of paranoia as he filmed the movie.
He adds, "I thought about just walking away from this movie."
But, instead, he sought the counsel of psychiatrists, and asked them for their help and advice - so he could portray Ayers without personal repercussions: "I got really worried, I felt all these things. I went to a psychiatrist and I actually asked, 'Can I catch schizophrenia?' Now I know you can't, but I also knew I had this thing happen to me before, and it felt like it was going to happen again.
"It's one thing to go crazy and not know it, but, if you feel yourself slipping in, then it's like drowning, going down. That's how I felt as a teenager, and just getting close to it again, I could feel the sweat coming, and I felt like I had to run out of there."