Long before his Oscar success, Jamie Foxx was still learning the industry ropes as he steadily climbed the ranks of Hollywood. Starring in a number of TV series and music videos, Foxx found consistent work in the industry by the 1990s, with his 1999 collaboration with Oliver Stone in Any Given Sunday being one of his first major feature film roles.
Appearing alongside the likes of Al Pacino, Dennis Quaid, Cameron Diaz, James Woods, and Matthew Modine, the sports movie told the story of a veteran American football coach who must deal with the varying personalities of his team. Things got a little too heated on the set of the film, however, with Foxx clashing with the actor and rapper LL Cool J, which eventually resulted in the Miami-Dade County Police being called in.
Speaking about the brawl, Foxx’s co-star Bill Bellamy recently stated on the Drink Champs podcast, “Everybody was gassed up, but the reality of the movie was the context—its conflict of egos with these players”. The actor then suggested that the rapper was getting annoyed with Foxx’s humorous remarks, exclaiming: “You can’t be a rapper hanging around comedians tryna snap”.
Seeing that LL Cool J was getting annoyed, Bellamy admitted to approaching Foxx to tell him to “stop f**king with” the rapper, adding: “I’m telling you that’s my dude, he don’t play like that. Do what you wanna do, but I’m telling you he ain’t that one”.
The brawl then heightened once the duo got into an actual movie scene wherein they shared a heated scene. “The third time we go to do the take, Jamie just turns around, ‘boom’, punches his face, busts his lip,” Bellamy states, recalling Cool J’s anger: “He was so mad and it just seemed like he was growing […] His voice changed and everything. He said, ‘On everything I love, ain’t nothin’ you gon’ do to get me to stop what’s gonna happen to you’”.
What followed was one of the most notorious brawls in the history of modern Hollywood, as the two exchanged several blows before knocking Foxx out cold. “Jamie cuts his tongue, has to go to the hospital, he’s got to get 16 stitches…we can’t film right now because we don’t know what’s going on with Jamie when he comes back from the hospital, and the tension is crazy!”.
Continuing, he explained how LL Cool J got his “whole crew” down to the set the next day, “you had the entire, all of Queens, Brooklyn, whatever here. Then you had Jamie, his manager, and a few guys”. Production halted whilst the pair sorted their differences and only resumed once the former American football player and star of the movie Jim Brown approached both performers to settle the tension.