By Seija Rankin
June 15, 2021 at 12:00 PM EDT
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Act Like You Got Some Sense by Jamie Foxx
'Act Like You Got Some Sense' by Jamie Foxx

Jamie Foxx could teach a master class on blockbuster films, but he's still very much a student when it comes to his own house. In his new book, Act Like You Got Some Sense: And Other Things My Daughters Taught Me, the A-lister gets brutally honest about the rollercoaster of emotions that is being a dad.

The title is inspired by Foxx's own grandmother, and the stories inside detail his early days (growing up in Texas, building his Hollywood career) as well as raising his two daughters, Corinne and Anelise. As the author puts it, both daughters - Corinne, in her 20s, and Anelise, a preteen - agree that Dad gets on their motherf---ing nerves. The book will hit shelves on Oct. 19, but EW is sharing the first look now, with a peak at the cover and an excerpt.

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My grandparents told me they wanted me to have every tool in my toolbox - the educational tool, the artistic tool, the discipline tool, the moral tool. My grandmother wanted me to be worldly enough that I would be able to connect with any person in any room I walked into. She also wanted me to have a strong moral compass, because she knew when I moved away from Terrell and got out in the world, there would be many temptations and times when I needed to be able to say "No." 

Estelle Talley was the most influential figure in turning little nappy-headed Eric Bishop into the man I eventually became.

When Granny passed away on October 23, 2004, just four months before I won the Oscar for Ray, it was the close of an incredible American story. She got to see me rise to the highest heights. And she knew it all came about because of the hours and the toil she put in. That's what every parent wants to see - our children soar.

When I won the Academy Award, I paid tribute to her in my acceptance speech.

"She was my first acting teacher," I said from the stage. "She told me 'Stand up straight, put your shoulders back, act like you got some sense.'…She still talks to me, only now she talks to me in my dreams."

She didn't see me hold that statue in my hand, but she always knew I was destined for greatness. Even when I didn't know it myself.

There's not really a neat way to wrap up who Granny was as a person. You just needed to know her. I'm lucky I did, and many of these stories play in my head like sitcom reruns, reminding me of where I learned about toughness and discipline and love.

When I am deep in the weeds, trying to figure out how to parent my daughters, it is the voice of my grandmother I hear in my head, encouraging me, and of course yelling at me when I'm messing up as a parent. Thanks to her, I knew that it wasn't about always being your kids' best friend but being a parent. Even when it means you gotta be tough with them. Sometimes you gotta be tough because you love them. Just like she always loved me.

Excerpted from the book Act Like You Got Some Sense: And Other Things My Daughters Taught Me by Jamie Foxx. Copyright © 2021 by No Brainer, Inc. Reprinted with permission of Grand Central Publishing. All rights reserved. 

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