I recently had the privilege of speaking with Paris native, now Hollywood movie maker, Judd Payne about his new movie Sleepless staring Jamie Foxx.

I asked him to give our readers a brief synopsis of the movie. After having viewed the trailer, I wanted to hear it from the Producer’s point of view. “Well actually it’s a re-make of the French film Sleepless Night.  Jamie plays an undercover cop in an on-going investigation of dirty cops with the Las Vegas Police Department. His character finds himself dealing with some pretty unsavory characters who kidnap his son and the rest of the movie is a cat and mouse action thriller of Jamie’s character (Vincent Downs) trying to get his son back.”

When asked, how did you get from Paris, TX to Los Angeles making movies? Payne replied, “well growing up my parents took me to the movies often.  In fact, I saw movies that probably were not all that appropriate for a kid.  I think I saw “Animal House” when I was four-years old he said with a laugh.  I also watched appropriate movies too.  Living in Paris there were only two theaters in town; the Grand Theater and the one across from Paris Junior College.  Not all movies came to Paris, so it was nothing for my parents and I to drive to Dallas and watch 2 or 3 movies in one afternoon.  Once I got to college I figured I would take the same route as my Dad and become a lawyer. But my senior year many of my friends were into the arts and they were passionate about film, so I changed my course.  I started in the William Morris Agency mail room in Hollywood after graduating, and that’s where it all started.”

Payne has been the Producer or Executive Producer for movies such as Bernie, The Keeping Room, Southland Tales and Passengers.  He has also worked on various other television and documentary projects.   I told him, Bernie is actually one of may all-time favorite films. My husband and I saw it at Magnolia Theater in Dallas and we loved it. I asked, is there one movie that’s special to you?  “Well, I’ve made some good movies and some bad movies, but they are all special to me because I’ve learned from each one.  I would say Bernie is also my favorite.  It just spoke to me.  Being from a small town, the characters in the film are in every small town and Jack Black and Matthew McConaughy were just great. When we rapped the film and tried to sell it in L.A. so many passed on it.  People in the industry said we were making fun of Texans and it would never work.  I told them, you don’t get it, Texans will love this movie.  And they have.”

This Thursday evening, January 13 at 6:30 p.m. at Movies 8 in Paris, Payne will be in attendance to premier Sleepless.  Tickets are $25 and all of the proceeds will benefit the Boys & Girls Club of Paris.  When asked how he felt about premiering his new film with 143 hometown folks?  “I love it.  I’m very excited to entertain everyone and because of Derrick Hughes and Greg Wilson who have set everything up for the premier, I am happy to raise money for the Boys & Girls Club.”

Sleepless will be in theaters on Friday, January 13, 2016. The cast includes Jamie Foxx, T.I., Drew Sidora, Lloyd Banks, Gabrielle Union, Young Jeezy, Michelle Monaghan, Dermot Mulroney, David Harbour, Scott McNairy and Sala Baker.

#Sleepless #JuddPayne #JamieFoxx


Written by:  Toni McDowra