Actor Jamie Foxx poses with Kidsday reporters Adrian Rojo, Abigail...

Actor Jamie Foxx poses with Kidsday reporters Adrian Rojo, Abigail Lindenberg, Vasilia Shaw and Taylor Mann, ages 11 and 12 from Coram, Medford and Ridge at the Mandarin Hotel in Manhattan, April 13, 2011. Credit: Newsday/Pat Mulloly

We had the awesome opportunity to preview the movie “Rio” on Wednesday at the Fox Offices in Manhattan in the private screening room. After viewing the movie, we went to the Mandarin Hotel to meet and interview Jamie Foxx, who did the voice for the character Nico.

In the movie, there is a domesticated macaw in Minnesota named Blu (voiced by Jesse Eisenberg). He is the last male blue macaw alive and he cannot fly. Halfway across the world, in Brazil, a blue female macaw that is the last of her kind is found. For the blue macaw species not to end, Blu will have to go to Brazil and meet the female Jewel (voiced by Anne Hathaway).

Blu’s owner, Linda (Leslie Mann), is his best friend. She does not want Blu to go to Brazil because she promised to take care of him. Against her gut feeling, she and Blu go to Brazil.

In Brazil, Blu meets several interesting characters. Two of them are Nico and Pedro ( Then he meets Jewel, his “blind date” mate. One of the more colorful characters that Blu meets is a toucan named Rafael (George Lopez). Rafael becomes one of Blu’s closest friends. Nigel (Jemaine Clement) is an evil cockatoo who really added action and suspense.

Blu and his feathery friends run into many problems. Blu and Jewel get birdnapped by a kid who sells them to bird smugglers. Another major problem Blu faces is being chained to Jewel. This causes a problem because Blu never learned to fly while living in Minnesota. Throughout the movie, Blu and his friends are closely followed by Nigel. At one point Nigel even bullies marmoset monkeys into capturing Blu and Jewel.

We really liked the movie and give it a 4.5 out 5, but meeting Foxx was just the best! We asked him, “Of all the birds in the movie, which bird would you rather be and what did you do to make Nico special?” He said: “That blue macaw was kind of tight. Blue is my favorite color anyway. But, I dug my character and what made my character special was he was tiny but I had a lot to say and I got a lot of music inside me. That is sort of like how I am now. But what was even more incredible was I got to work with Will.i.Am.”

We wanted to know if there was a reason for the bottle cap that Nico had to wear. He said, “The bottle cap was like an added touch, showing that we are basically from the street. We are street birds. . . . We couldn’t have a real hat. So we grabbed a bottle cap and made it work.”
We loved the movie’s music and we wanted to know what it was like to sing with and Anne Hathaway. Foxx said: “That was amazing. I know you guys are fans of Black Eyed Peas. They tour all over the world and play in front of hundreds of thousands of people. He wrote the song, produced the song and while he was working in the studio he actually edits the song, too. He wears all the hats. It was great to work with him.”