Back when the MTV Movie Awards first started, they had a Lifetime Achievement prize. But it was sort of a joke. The winners were Jason Voorhees from the “Friday the 13th” franchise, The Three Stooges, “Shaft” star Richard Roundtree, Jackie Chan (those last two being the most “legitimate” winners, I suppose), Godzilla, Chewbacca from the “Star Wars” franchise and Ron Howard’s brother, Clint (who appears in all of Howard’s films). In 1999 they discontinued it, thank God.
In 2005, it was brought back around with an undercurrent of sincerity and dubbed the “MTV Generation Award.” The inaugural recipient was Tom Cruise and the winners since have been Jim Carrey, Mike Myers, Adam Sandler, Ben Stiller, Sandra Bullock (tied in nicely with her Oscar march in 2010), Reese Witherspoon and Johnny Depp. This year, the award goes to actor Jamie Foxx, nominated for his performance in “Django Unchained” and an honor nicely positioned as a boost to his upcoming summer blockbuster “White House Down.”
The MTV Generation Award “is given to an artist who has shown us a variety of impressive roles, a personal and professional flair and of course, an awesome level of talent,” according to MTV. And from television’s “In Living Color” to the first hints of a quality big screen presence in “Any Given Sunday” (for which he received his first MTV Movie Award nomination, for Breakthrough Male Performance) through his Oscar-winning (and MTV-nominated) work as Ray Charles in “Ray,” as well as “Django” and, of course, his recording career, I suppose Foxx fits that criteria nicely.
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Foxx will join Will Ferrell (Comedic Genius Award) and Emma Watson (MTV Trailblazer Award) on the somewhat arbitrary achievement award circuit at Sunday’s ceremony. For “Django Unchained,” he is nominated in three categories this year: Best Male Performance, Best Kiss (with Kerry Washington) and Best Fight (with the Candieland henchmen). The film tied with Seth MacFarlane’s “Ted” for the most nominations across the board.
The MTV Movie Awards will be broadcast live, Sunday, April 14 at 9pm ET.