Quvenzhané Wallis Still ‘Checks in’ with Jamie Foxx 10 Years After “Annie”: ‘He’s Always Cracking Jokes’ (Exclusive)

Meeting Jamie Foxx on the 2014 movie musical ‘Annie,’ Quvenzhané Wallis recalls, “He broke the ice immediately”

<p>Leigh Vogel/Getty Images for Apple TV+; Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic</p> Quvenzhane Wallis; Jamie Foxx

Leigh Vogel/Getty Images for Apple TV+; Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Quvenzhane Wallis; Jamie Foxx

Quvenzhané Wallis is still pals with Annie costar Jamie Foxx.

“I definitely check in on Jamie a lot,” says the Oscar nominee, 20, who starred in the title role of the 2014 movie musical. Foxx, 56, played mayoral candidate Will Stacks, who adopts young Annie.

Wallis tells PEOPLE that she and her mother Qulyndreia, who helped manage the young actress’ career, “keep in contact” with the Django Unchained star as friendly former coworkers. “My mom texts him on holidays and stuff like that — just checking in and make sure everyone's okay.”

That was true “especially when he had that health scare,” adds Wallis, referring to Foxx’s medical emergency that kept him out of the public eye for months in 2023. “I texted him too, but he was healing.”

Related: Jamie Foxx Says He Will Share Details of His Medical Scare in an Upcoming Comedy Special: 'It Was Dire Straits'

After Wallis earned an Oscar nomination at age 9 for 2012’s Beasts of the Southern Wild, she nabbed a best actress Golden Globe nomination for her heartfelt Annie performance.

In the modern-day reimagining of the 1977 classic Broadway musical (itself based on Harold Gray’s comic strip Little Orphan Annie), Cameron Diaz starred as Miss Colleen Hannigan, alongside Foxx, Wallis, Rose Byrne, Bobby Cannavale and more. (Other film adaptations of Annie include the 1982 original starring Carol Burnett and Albert Finney and the 1999 TV movie starring Kathy Bates and Victor Garber.)

<p>Barry Wetcher/Sony/Village Roadshow/Kobal/Shutterstock</p> Quvenzhané Wallis and Jamie Foxx in "Annie"

Barry Wetcher/Sony/Village Roadshow/Kobal/Shutterstock

Quvenzhané Wallis and Jamie Foxx in "Annie"

Wallis admits that to this day, she can feel “intimidated” to be working with such industry heavyweights. “I know that everyone's human, but when it's the people that I've grown up on, and watched over and over again, and dedicated a lot of my time to, I definitely get starstruck.”

Related: Quvenzhané Wallis: Youngest Best Actress Oscar Nominee Grows Up with 'Challenging' Role in 'Swagger'

That was true of meeting Beyoncé — “When I met her, I couldn't even speak, didn't say a word,” she recalls with a laugh — and Jennifer Hudson, her costar in the new film Breathe (in theaters now). 

“She's so humble, and so genuine and so easy to talk to, that as soon as I started talking to her, being scared to talk to her was out of the window,” Wallis says of Hudson, 42.

The two developed a “mom and daughter energy,” she explains, on the set of the post-apocalyptic sci-fi film in which they play a mother and daughter. “We would talk about cats! She has two cats, I have two cats.”

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With Foxx on the set of Annie, Wallis remembers a similar rapport. “He broke the ice immediately,” she says, “so you forget that you just met him a second ago.”

<p>Barry Wetcher/Columbia Pictures/Courtesy of Everett</p> Quvenzhané Wallis and Jamie Foxx in "Annie"

Barry Wetcher/Columbia Pictures/Courtesy of Everett

Quvenzhané Wallis and Jamie Foxx in "Annie"

The Ray Oscar winner is “always cracking jokes that you laugh” all these years later, adds Wallis.

After a hiatus due to his health scare, Foxx will return with his daughter Corinne Foxx to host season 7 of Beat Shazam!, starting May 28. Among the producer-star’s many upcoming projects is a reunion with Diaz in the Netflix action-comedy Back in Action.

Breathe, from director Stefon Bristol and writer Doug Simon, is in theaters now.

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