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Samuel L. Jackson Masterclass: Learn Acting from the F**king Master
As a kid, Samuel L. Jackson stuttered so badly that he stopped talking for almost a year. Today he’s one of the world’s most successful actors, with roles in over 100 films, including Pulp Fiction and The Avengers. For the first time, the Oscar-nominated star teaches how he creates memorable characters, powerful performances, and a long-lasting career.
Jackson broke out as a critically-acclaimed actor when the Cannes Film Festival awarded the “Best Supporting Actor” award to honor his performance in 1991’s Jungle Fever. Soon after, he was contacted by director Quentin Tarantino for perhaps his most legendary role: Jules Winnfield in Pulp Fiction. Since then, Jackson starred in another five Tarantino films and has left his indelible mark on Hollywood with roles in films such as Shaft, A Time to Kill, Unbreakable, Die Hard: With A Vengeance, and The Avengers. His colorful and truly iconic 45-year film roster has established him as one of this generation’s most distinguished actors.
In his MasterClass, Samuel L. Jackson will share lessons from his experience playing 100+ characters in some of the biggest franchises in history. Students will learn how to break down a script, leverage their voice, embody their characters, improve their auditioning skills, and collaborate within the industry. Jackson will break down his unique process to deliver an acting class that is unlike any other. Learn to master auditions, analyze scripts, and find the truth in every role you play.
“In my MasterClass, I hope students learn that there’s no limit to what they can make-believe. By the end, they’ll be able to walk into a room, present their best self, and be happy with the result,” – Samuel L. Jackson
Not Just for Actors, Filmmakers Take Notice
This is not only amazing for actors but great for directors, screenwriters and producers as well. Filmmakers can learn and observe the craft of acting. A better understanding of the acting process, the better your films will come out.
Samuel L. Jackson Masterclass: Learn Acting for the F*ing Master
- Samuel L. Jackson teaches you acting in 20+ exclusive video lessons.
- Interactive exercises
- A downloadable workbook accompanies the class with lesson recaps and supplemental materials.
- Lifetime access, with classes that never expires
- Learning materials and workbooks
- Accessible from any device
- Watch, listen, and learn as Samuel L. Jackson teaches his most comprehensive acting class ever.
- Office Hours: Upload work to get feedback from the class. Samuel L. Jackson will also critique select student work.
If this class is anything like past Masterclass’ you are in for a treat.
- David Lynch Creativity and Filmmaking Masterclass
- Jodie Foster Filmmaking/Working with Actors Masterclass
- Martin Scorsese Film Directing Masterclass
- Ron Howard Film Directing Masterclass
- Spike Lee Film Directing Masterclass
- Werner Herzog Filmmaking MasterClass
- Aaron Sorkin Screenwriting MasterClass
- Mira Nair Independent Filmmaking Masterclass
- David Mamet Dramatic Writing MasterClass
- Shonda Rhimes Masterclass: Learn Television Writing from the Creator of Scandal
- Steve Martin Teaches Comedy Writing & Acting MasterClass
- Annie Leibovitz Masterclass: Learn Photography from the Legend
- Jimmy Chin Masterclass: Learn Adventure Photography
- Judd Apatow Comedy Writing/Directing Masterclass
- Natalie Portman Masterclass: Learn Acting from the Oscar Winner
- Samual L. Jackson Acting MasterClass
- Dustin Hoffman Acting Masterclass
- Helen Mirren Masterclass Teaches Acting
- Neil Gaiman MasterClass: The Art of Storytelling
- Dan Brown Masterclass: Learn How to Write Thrillers from the Best Selling Author
- Malcolm Gladwell Masterclass: Learn Writing from the Best Selling Author
- R.L. Stine Masterclass: Teaches Writing for Young Audiences
- Margaret Atwood Masterclass: Teaches Creative Writing
- David Mamet Dramatic Writing MasterClass
- James Patterson’s MasterClass: Teaching Fiction Writing
- Steve Martin Masterclass Teaches Comedy Writing
- Shonda Rhimes Teaches Writing for Television
- Judd Apatow Masterclass Teaches Comedy Writing
Music / Performing MasterClasses:
- Carlos Santana Masterclass: Learn the Art and Soul of Guitar
- Tom Morello Masterclass – Electric Guitar
- Reba McEntire Country Music MasterClass
- Herbie Hancock Masterclass: [WATCH] & Learn Jazz from the Legend
- Christina Aguilera’s Singing MasterClass
- Hans Zimmer Film Scoring MasterClass
- deadmau5 Electronic Music Production (EDM) MasterClass
- Armin van Buuren Teaches Dance Music
- Gordon Ramsey Cooking MasterClass
- Gordon Ramsay Masterclass – Learning Cooking II: Restaurant Recipes at Home
- Thomas Keller Masterclass Teaches Cooking Techniques
- Wolfgang Puck Masterclass Teaches Cooking
- Alice Waters Masterclass Teaches Home Cooking
- Howard Schultz Masterclass: Leading a Values-Based Business
- Will Wright Masterclass: Learn Game Design and Theory
- David Axelrod and Karl Rove Masterclass: Campaign Strategy and Message
- Garry Kasparov Masterclass: Learn Chess for a GrandMaster
- Chris Hadfield Masterclass Teaches Space Exploration
- Diane von Furstenberg Masterclass: Learn How to Build a Fashion Brand
- Marc Jacobs Masterclass Teaches Fashion Design
- Serena Williams Tennis MasterClass
- Frank Gehry Design & Architecture MasterClass
- Dr. Jane Goodall Masterclass: Learn Conservation from a Legend
- Stephen Curry Masterclass: Teaches Basketball
Here are some additional videos to give you a taste of Samuel L. Jackson’s teaching techniques.
Samuel Lorey Jackson is a hardworking and popular Hollywood actor. He has made a countless number of appearances in a lot of movies. Including Jurassic Park, Pulp Fiction and the first episode of Star Wars.
Samuel L. Jackson was born on 21st December 1948 in Washington D.C. Jackson was brought up by his grandmother in Chattanooga. He graduated in the year 1972 from Morehouse College and made skits regarding racial inequality with a theatre company. Jackson later moved over to New York City where his relationship with Spike Lee helped him to get his first movie gigs. In the year 1994, he got a role in the hit movie, Pulp Fiction. By the time he got to 62 years of age, Samuel L. Jackson had made an appearance in over 100 movies, and he emerged as the highest grossing actor ever in 2011 with over $7.3 billion in wealth.
Samuel L. Jackson lived in Washington with his grandmother in Chattanooga, and his mother, Jackson Elizabeth joined them when he was about ten years old. As a young movie enthusiast, Samuel L. Jackson frequently went to see movies at the local film theater, got more knowledge, and exposed to the complex messages that surround the black presence on screen. They edited Band of Angel versions for the blacks in Chattanooga, removing a scene in which a white woman was slapped by Sidney Poitier.
The early memories of Samuel L. Jackson remained with him when he got into the historically black Morehouse College in Atlanta, and he became highly involved in the movement of black-power. In his junior year in the year 1969, Jackson protested the lack of black people on the school’s board of trustees by locking some members of the board for two days in a building. Jackson was later expelled from the college because of that act. Later that year, Jackson saw the Negro Ensemble company’s performance and got a new inspiration which was acting. After serving as a social worker for about two years in LA, Samuel L. Jackson went back to Morehouse College to study acting, and he graduated and got his degree in the year 1972.
Samuel L. Jackson Early Career
After Jackson finished college, Jackson and his future wife Richardson LaTanya that he met at the sister school of Morehouse, Spelman College, became part of the Black Image Theatre Company. They both explored the country and made skits characterized by a combination of humor and range for basically white people. In the year 1976, after exhausting their politically charged theatre enthusiasm, Jackson and Richardson moved to Harlem in New York City, to pursue a career in acting.
Samuel L. Jackson started acting in Off-Broadway productions, alongside Wesley Richard’s The Mighty Gents, an adoption of the Mother Courage of Bertolt Brecht. He was also offered a job to substitute Bill Cosby in the rehearsals of Cosby Show. In the year 1981, while working on “A Soldier’s Play” by Fuller Charles, Samuel L. Jackson encountered two life-changing experiences. He met the famous actor Morgan J. Freeman, who became a very good friend to Jackson and encouraged Jackson that he can be a great and a successful actor.
The second person he had an encounter with was Spike Lee who was a student at the New York University film. Spike Lee expressed his enthusiasm for the performance of Jackson and told him to appear in the movies he wants to make. Jackson agreed and kept to his word, and he made an appearance in the early movies of Spike Lee including Do The Right Thing, School Daze, and Mo’ Better Blues. The relationship between them duly paid off for Samuel L. Jackson, as it was the role he played as a drug addict named Gator Jungle Fever by Lee that finally got the attention of critics and earned him some praise. The Cannes Film Festival judges made a category of Best Supporting Actor to give Samuel L. Jackson the award. The New York Film Critics award was also given to Jackson. Through acting as an on-screen drug demon, Samuel L. Jackson was made to face his personal off-screen demon, a very strong addiction to alcohol and drugs. The purging nature of Jackson’s performance helped him to give up drugs and alcohol, making it both professional and personal success.
Samuel L. Jackson continued to take small roles in movies such as True Romance and Juice, and he played the role of an FBI agent in the movie titled White Sands, showing off his impressive skills and his ability to add an extra twist to every character. Samuel L. Jackson overcame to flops in Hollywood, Amos & Andrew and National Lampoon’s Loaded Weapon, by creating little but very effective performances in Patriot Games and Menace II Society.
In the year 1994, after he has established a reputation as one of the hardest working Hollywood actors, Samuel L. Jackson got an opportunity to play the most the most important role of his career in the instant cult classic in Quentin Tarantino, Pulp Fiction. Working from the dream script of any actor, Samuel L. Jackson played the character of Jules Winnfield, a sermon-preaching killer with more than four pages of volatile and dangerous speeches. He walked and terrified people with his performance that is considered impassionate, becoming the mysterious moral center this psychologically twisted movie. Samuel L. Jackson got a nomination for an Academy Award for the role he played in the movie.
After which, Samuel L. Jackson went on to make a lot of wonderful Hollywood movies, including The Long Kiss Goodnight (action thriller) and A night to kill by Grisham John. But Jackson continued participating in independent endeavors like the Trees Lounge of Steve Buscemi. In the year 1993, Samuel L. Jackson made a comeback to the stage in Distant Fires which he desired so much, saying to Premiere magazine that he always wants to return to the theater to make that he is still an actor.
Famous Roles Played By Samuel L. Jackson
In the year 2000, Samuel L. Jackson did a movie alongside with Tommy Jones Lee in Rules of Engagement (a military thriller) and also in the movie remake of the classical 1970s exploitation of black people hit Shaft. Jackson also acted alongside with Bruce Willis in the movie titled Unbreakable, a supernatural and amazing thriller directed and written by M. N. Shyamalan.
In the year 2002, Samuel L. Jackson starred alongside with Affleck Ben in the movie “Changing Lanes.” Jackson also made an appearance in the second episode of Star Wars (Attack of the clones). Also in the year 2005, Samuel L. Jackson made an appearance in the movie Coach Carter. Later that same year, he also appeared in the third episode of Star Wars titled Revenge of the Sith. In 2006, Jackson starred in the movies Black Snake Moan, and still, in that same year, Samuel L. Jackson was also starred in hit movie titled Snakes on a Plane.
In the year 2008, Samuel L. Jackson appeared in the movie “Jumper.” The role of Nick Fury was also played by Samuel L. Jackson in Iron Man. Jackson’s appearance came only after the rolling of the final credits, paving the way for the inevitable outcome of the successful movie. In the year 2010, Samuel L. Jackson also starred in the movie Iron Man 2, making a nine-film agreement with the makers of Iron Man “Marvel” to play the character. In addition to his numerous successes and achievements, Samuel L. Jackson was named the highest grossing Hollywood movie actor of all time in the year 2011 by The Guinness Book of Records. The major part of the estimated $7.3 billion in the wealth of Samuel L. Jackson came from his very big franchise movies which are Pulp fiction, Jurassic Park, and Star Wars. Samuel L. Jackson later seemed to be very busy as usual with his Marvel movies that are comic-related and as well as other projects too.
In the year 2014, Samuel L. Jackson appeared in the movie Captain America (The Winter Soldier). He also made appearances in the remake of Robocop and the Reasonable Doubt, as well as making appearances in other movies. Samuel L. Jackson also played Nick Fury which was his popular Marvel character on a small screen. Samuel L. Jackson also appeared as a guest on the popular the TV series known as Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. with Clark Gregg. In the year 2015, Samuel L. Jackson made appearances in movies such as The Hateful Eight and Chi-Raq.
Samuel L. Jackson’s Personal Life
Samuel L. Jackson and Richardson LaTanya got married in 1980, and they presently live in California. They have one child whose name is Zoe. When Jackson was asked by a reporter why his wife remained with him in his wilder years, he said his wife said he has now grown to become the man that she had always wanted him to be.
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SAMUEL L. JACKSON
Our guest tonight is one of today’s most distinguished actors to appear on the movie screen and on the stage. His film work has been recognized by his industries highest accolades Academy Awards and Golden Glove nominations and the BATHA Independent Spirit New York Film Critics Circle Awards among many others and he is no stranger to the theatre.
His originated roles in two of August Wilson’s plays a Yale Rap and appeared in New York Shakespeare Festival Productions here in New York City and he is currently making his Broadway debut as Civil Rights Leader Martin Luther King Jr. in Katori Hall’s the Mountain Top directed by Kenny Leon and co staring Angela Basset.
We are honored and fortunate to have him here with us tonight and you will hear much more about him from out moderator who I am now pleased to introduced.
Every Monday his media equation column his must reading for everyone concerned with how media intercepts with business culture government and our everyday lives. Today’s column about huge bonuses and salaries in of all places certain news paper chains was one of the most popular on line and also on twitter.
He also writes about film television and books for the arts section. He was the first carpet blogger covering the news nonsense and the players that drives the film awards season. Earlier this year he appeared as a character his own in Ander Rossi’s film page one inside the New York Times.
He is also the author of the compelling memoir The Night of the Gun. Please join me in welcoming our moderator HOST Kerr/Carr and or very special guest SAMUEL L. JACKSON L Jackson.
HOST: I always like coming out with a big famous guy like you and pretend that that applause is for me but then I point towards you and it goes up a great deal in volume so I am not confused as if I wasn’t intimidated by this enough given by all the roles you played now I think of you a little bit as Dr. King.
I just saw you last week you did a pretty good job. Oh, some of these folks have seen you when you were approached about that role in the Mountain Top did any part of you say oh my gosh here it is.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: You know it is a weird kind of funny story actually, I had been in London maybe a week before Kenny got the offer for the play and I tried to see the play but I was too busy so I dint get to see it and Kenny and I played gold together so we were coming from the golf course and he got a call about this Martin Luther King play and I said is that the play they are doing in London?
I don’t know maybe and he asked me and I said yeas let me read it when you get it and when he got it he sent me a copy of it, he emailed me a copy and I read it and I called him and said so you going to direct the play or not? He said I don’t know I am looking at it, I said if you do it I will do it, because I was looking for a new play.
I didn’t want to do, Kenny had approach me a lot about doing August Wilson, I have done some August Wilson plays early in my career but I didn’t want to do something people kept doing over and over again I want to do something that was different and new plus if I come back to the theatre I definitely want to come back in I guess some dynamic fashion so I figured that might be okay.
HOST: This worked out pretty good.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: It’s not bad.
HOST: You know what’s weird about this is you guys were on the golf course business always gets done on the golf course.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: No, no we were on our way home from the golf course. I had already taken care of the business I had taken his money so we were on the way home.
HOST: You can play
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: A little bit.
HOST: So I have heard, what’s your handicap?
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: I can’t say it in front of all these people.
HOST: Yes you can.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: Three point something maybe three point six seven.
HOST: I’ll do anything to have a handicap like that except what you did to get it.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: Use some muscle and a lot of time.
HOST: When we watch the play and I am not going to get into large spoilers I will just talk about little things we are clearly seeing a man not a myth and that has made manifest by you doing an entrance into this hotel room and you go out to do what everyman does which is go to the bathroom and we hear Dr. King going to the bathroom.
So his feet of clay the fact that he is a man is established right out of the gate so we are seeing that again and apart from that you see he is tired he is hungry and he totally want a cigarette which I can identify with and so you are not playing “Martin Luther King” you are playing Martin Luther King.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: Not Dr King, just Martin Luther King.
HOST: Well said, and so you are playing a big man but you shouldn’t play him that large technically it is a significant challenge for you in that perspective.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: Well considering we both graduated from the same college he is a graduate from Moore house College so am I.
HOST: You were at his funeral
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: Yes that was totally an accident of time just because I was a student there, there were a lot of strangers coming on to the campus for the funeral which was held in the middle of the campus and they needed student volunteers to guide people to places they need to be in general seats so I volunteered and I became an usher at the funeral which is kind of you know a lot of students did that.
That was something that we all did, more interesting than that was the day after he was assassinated I got on the plane and went to Memphis and march in the sanitations strike which was kind of a fortunate incident because Bill Cosby and Robert Cope went on at plane and took all these students and we just got on a plane and left in fact I actually ran into my wife visually for the first time and said oh I knew who that girl is, but we didn’t connect then.
HOST: You were just kind of setting the trap.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: Yes we were scalping each other out but yes I actually I ended up being an usher but because we both went to the same school, we had the same professors I know that Southern Baptist (9:07) who those preachers are I understand the sordidness that Kam May keep referring to I think that’s a black word.
Do white people say sordidy?
HOST: We can’t even say that word.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: It’s one of those words that we grew up with that reference people who talk proper and thinks they are better and have strange manners but when you go to Moore House you sort of taught that you are going to be better than the average black person that is one the planet you know that’s one of those.
The first assembly you have you look to your left you look to your right that person won’t be here next year, wow. What the fuck, what’s going to happen and sure enough.
HOST: You got expelled.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: Yes I was one of those people that wasn’t there but it took them three years to get me, only because I locked the trustees in a build and had Dr King’s father and some other people locking in a building other than that I was a perfect student n but I understand who those people are.
So when I attacked Dr King in that particular way especially in this play I was not dealing with the ICON, the person who made those speeches the person who made those marches I was just dealing with one of those guys who happened to be Moore House graduate who became famous preacher of sorts and I dealt with him in that way.
I remember telling Kenny after I learned my lines because it is the first play I have done in fifteen years so when I got back and we started rehearsal I sort of knew the script in like three days because I have this facility for learning languages I can’t explain, but I knew the play but then all of a sudden I had to re learned the lines in his voice.
So I spend a lot of time at home going through those preacher cadences and extending word and a sordidly subtle way which helped me get to who the character is in that way so having that kind of information has led me to the character that people see when they see him on stage now.
HOST: I think our guys were able to hustle a clip of the Mountain Top so we can see a little bit of what we are talking about is that true we have a clip don’t we, we would look like a jerk if we don’t.
CLIP: White folks hate us, bombing folk’s house, shooting folks blowing up children. Make you scared to bring a negro child into this world the way they be blowing them up. Yes, they hate so easily and we love too much. Last time I heard you was preaching everybody the same negro folk white folk we all alike.
At the most human level we are all the same. What one thing we all got in common? We scared Tammy we all scared, we scared of each other we scared of ourselves they just scared, scared of losing something that have known their whole lives. Fear makes us human we all want the same things a smile a hug. A smoke, which I could use more of.”
HOST: Two things I noticed about the scene which anyone goes to your play the Mountain Top would think one is Angela Basset doesn’t change the rest of us getting older, she obviously does a wonderful job but she is a remarkable looking person and she does not change.
The other thing is you said you came off a fifteen year layup looks like you got the hang of it.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: I didn’t realize until we started doing previews of it how much I actually missed doing theatre. I love doing movie like one of my favorite places to be is on the movies set but I also like the immediate feedback that an audience give.
You give them something they give you something back they sigh they laugh they sob with you, you can hear them hustling you can feel the energy it is something you don’t feel on the movie set. I had it a couple times when you do something.
There have been some soliloquies I have done when I was doing a movie like when we did Pulp Fiction when we shot the diner scene which happen to be the first thing we shot in the movie so when I did that last speech in the diner scene it’s like the whole set was quite and the crew was paying attention so when it was finished, applause.
It was very odd and I think that happen on A Time to Kill when I did my first speech on A Time to Kill which is not actually in the movie, that happened.
HOST: It is hard to get a clap out of a Hollywood crew I mean really.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: Yes for sure they always off to crap service or the thing about the next live things they ought to do.
HOST: Or if the miss a line they are freaking out because they have to wait ten more minutes to eat a sandwich.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: No not really, it’s all up to. Theatre is a relationship between us and the people sitting there watching the play, a movie is a relationship between a director and all the stuff he has to go into the editing room and put together.
So you have to learn how to monitor yourself when you working in that milieu because directors, old school all the old time directors always told me you never shot anymore than you need because when the producers are in the studio getting mad at you then they can take all your footage and make any movie they want so they only shoot what they want.
Young directors or unsure directors tend to say well I want to try it this way now because when I go to the editing room I want this and if you reach a certain amount of power and you felt you go you know I already figure out what I am going to do from point A to point Z in this movie.
So what you asking me to do is like A to or A ZX and that doesn’t have anything to do with what I want to do to connect this to this and because you like that so much you are going to go to the editing room and that’s the first thing you are going to look at. No, no Sam I never, yes it is because if you didn’t like it you wouldn’t be asking me for it.
So let’s not do that and you go ahead to the editing room with what I give you and see how that works out for you, but everybody can’t do that.
HOST: Do you think that leverage comes from your personal charisma or the fact that in the Guinness Book of Records you are the top grossing actor of all times?
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: That has the gross
HOST: You got a little juice let’s face it.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: Not really, not really the gross record that’s like an erroneous kind of thing it is just some Guinness stuff because I have done like eight big really, really big movies that made all that money, just all you got to say is Star Wars and you know Erickson was the leader because he had done Star Wars and Star Wars movie.
So when I was doing episode one George told me I think by the time this movie is over you are going to pass Harrison because I had done Jurassic Park and some other stuff and I said well I probably going to pass him before this movie comes out because I did this old movie I think is going to make some money called Incredible.
HOST: That did okay.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: It did alright I think it did so well they are afraid to make another one because they don’t know if they can make another one as good as the first one which is kind of disheartening because I love that one.
HOST: I think they have a right to worry because that movie was almost perfect.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: Yes it’s great but, that’s an erroneous kind of a records because I got Star Wars Jurassic Park I got Incredible I got all these Marvel movies now which continues to make the numbers larger and larger unless they continue to make pirates movies vampire movies.
HOST: Do you have eight or nine picture deal with Marvel.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: Nine.
HOST: Not bad and you know Star Wars I think you are underestimating your contribution you did have a purple light sailor I mean come on.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: Well I asked for it George and I became close enough that I could actual asked him that and he did it, it was kind of funny.
HOST: I proposed of your conversation earlier and conversation with directors and I am not surprised that you ended up with it.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: Well I didn’t put it to George that way because I know, George is the star in Star Wars movie it is about George Lucas so I just happened to and this is one of the few times in episode two that they actually sent me a script because when I did episode one I had no idea who I was and what I was doing.
I just happened to do a British talk show and this guy one of the directors I never worked with and I wanted to work with and I realized that George was about to start Star Wars so I said I would love to work with George Lucas and somebody that worked for him told him because they were doing pre production in London.
And I left there an went to San Francisco I was doing Sphere out in the Napa Valley somewhere and I got a call says George wants to meet with you if you are really serious in being in Star Wars, I am like great so he sent a car went over to the ranch and I met with him and he was like you know I have seen a couple things you are in but I don’t really.
I am like you don’t have to know it’s okay you know I just really want to be in the movie and he is like I don’t know and I am like look I will be a storm trooper I just want to run across the screen nobody need to know I am in this movie but me, I will run across the screen with a white helmet on I would have been happy I just wanted to be in a Star Wars movie.
HOST: You were Jaded I knight though.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: I had no idea until they called I left there and George said you know I got a couple things I got some palace guards so maybe we will find something so I was like alright. Three months later I was done with sphere and I was ready to do something else and I got a call George wants you to come to London can you come to London now, I am like sure got on a plane go to London got to the studio they took me to his dressing room mind you I still have not seen a script I haven’t seen anything.
HOST: But you already willing to do anything, here is the thing you collect like little figurines right, so is that what you were angling for I want to be a Star Wars figurine.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: No I just wanted to be in Star Wars, you don’t understand, when I saw the movie for the first time I sat there saying to myself how the hell you get into something like this you know what do you have to do and then another movie like Die Hard my friend Reginald Bell the cop outside eating dough nuts all the time how did Reggie get that job?
So there are certain things that you watch that you want to do so when I got there and I was in my dressing room what they say was my dressing room well somebody will be up here to help you put on your costume in a minute you have a fitting said cool I wonder whose dressing room this is because I see some boot and I see oh, it looks like a Jedi robe.
I must be in somebody’s room and somebody came in and give me these three pages these are your lines and I went Mace Windu what the hell is that Mace Windu, Yoda I know I am not Yoda I must be still didn’t know who this guy was and then they came in and I put on some boots and they start putting on the stuff on me so I am a Jedi, yes and I am having a conversation with Yoda.
So I guess I won’t be edited out of the movie so I won’t just be running across the screen and then they got a guy coming in with a palleburton but and he said pick your light savior handle I am like oh shit, no, I can’t even tell you what I really did I really just went like oh my God and that’s when I knew I was a Jedi.
HOST: Didn’t you think there would be a little ceremony where you would be knighted as a Jedi.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: I didn’t care what was going to happen at that point all I knew was I was a Jedi I had my light saver they told me to go in this room I met Frank Oss and all these guys Yoda was still a public man and I rehearse with these guys for hours while they die ears and eyes and Yoda stuff I was very cool with all that but I made up my mind then.
I was like okay I just got to be cool and not give George any grief be quite stay out of the way and see how long I hang around don’t let them kill me, don’t kill me and that’s what I did/ from the first movie I sat in the chair and everybody was having light saver battles I am like let it go, let it go you will get to it and I made it through the first one.
So the second one they actually sent me a script and I am reading it and I see oh wow there is a huge, huge battle scene in this arena and I am in it but it’s like call all Jedi’s from all over the galaxy to fight in this arena and I am like how the hell I am going to fight myself in this big whole fight.
George you think I could have like a purple light saver, and he was like no Sam they did earlier and I go I am the second baddest Jedi in the universe have been around for a while you know.
HOST: Purple is in the middle.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: Purple could be kind of, let me think about it. I didn’t bother him I go away we shoot the movie in Australia and then we do reshoots in London, oh I got something to show you and he pull it up and sure enough purple light saver, but George you know George is still in that space where I don’t know if I am going to let you keep that though because know.
Somehow it got leaked on the net and it is causing this big shit storm and I am like really, I wonder who leaked that and eventually I got to keep it only because it was vanity I was trying to find myself in this big whole fight in the middle of the arena and it works.
HOST: It totally worked.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: It totally worked I know where I am in the big whole fight but you know George is great like that George like me I like George and it all worked out and he finally told me you know you are going to die in episode three. I am like why, well I have already done episode four five and six and you are not in them and you are the only significant character I can kill that would make a difference to move the story along.
I wasn’t too happy and I was like can I just get my hear cut off and fall out the window and not be dead, well that mean you will have to wait till episode seven to come back to be able to be something but I am okay with that, I had my moment it was great.
HOST: Lucas give a Lucas take away. You had a good run.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: It’s like the gift that keeps on giving they just rerelease those stuff on blue ray and stuff so I got a another check I am good.
HOST: Plus life saver is still purple.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: Light saver is they actually sent me one of those really great collector’s item light savers on opening night the purple one.
HOST: I want to get back to this other fight for truth and justice.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: Which one?
HOST: The real one civil rights just talk about the fact that you know can they in the movie in the play it is really challenging Dr K, you know marching just walking and at the time I was watching I stayed in the play most, you had your own issue and approaches during the civil right era I mean you were a fairly radical person. I think it is fair to say right?
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: Yes.
HOST: Became involved in black power movement.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: Yes I lived in snake office for a while that’s where I was student and non violent coordinator for many and they weren’t violent.
HOST: And neither were you right.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: Right and then I lived at Brown house for a while.
HOST: That’s not violent
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: Not so much that’s like one of my favorite statements from the sixties I used to have this T Shirt that I wore the says” at a certain point caution become cowards no slave should die a natural death so that was pretty much how I was taken myself and I did have that attitude that at some point there was going to be an arm struggle in America and I did believe there was going to be an arm struggle with the people of America and the power structure or the white people that run the country.
Because there were a lot of things that happen that were very interesting and now I don’t know how or why the empathy set in but people had a good had it good for a very long time and because we have an all volunteered army now unlike when I was a young man you know you got drafted and I had a very high draft number.
I was like number nineteen something when they kicked me out of school the first thing they tried to do is send me to the war and I resisted sent letter from all parts of the country saying I was living here living there and whatever but things happen and the way the government or the powers that be broke all that was.
The sixties was an age of drugs you may know something about that, so everybody I knew got high because if you didn’t that meant you were a nark or a cop or something so when.
HOST: So you just sort of did them defensively so people wouldn’t.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: No I did them recreationally shit, I had a great time, but what happened was when the movement got big enough or the anti war protest got big enough somehow some way all the marijuana left the country and all of a sudden there was all this heroin in the country.
So everybody that was active and all this was like that you know sleep and they destroyed the movement by importing a drug that would kill everybody. The same way they put crack you know in the communities that same way you know all that happen you disarm of people by putting them to sleep or by distracting them in a certain way.
That may all sound like government conspiracy shit to you all but, so that’s what kind of happen but.
HOST: It didn’t just side track the movement but it side track you a little bit.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: Well I didn’t get side track at all I had a path I knew what my path was. My path was to become what I am right now I lost sight of it in an interesting sort of way I went about it in a wayward path but fortunately for me all the getting high the drinking the drugs the everything else I did I showed up at the theatre every day. I did plays ripped out of my mind I rehearsed ripped out of my mind but every lesson that I learned I held on to for some reason.
God was or somebody let me held on to everything I was learning my stage lefts my stage rights my stage upstage puts always out turn down this way learning how to develop a character doing all those things because those are the things that I loved and I did them in the midst of everything else that I was doing.
When my friends were ready to go get some more drugs I go oh I got to be at the theatre and I will catch you all when the theatre is over when I am done, I jet or I got to go build a set I got to go do this so I did everything I had to do so I was focused on this by any means necessary plus I had a professor who you know all the great ones did their job and ripped out of their minds.
Look at Peter O’Toole they dig drugs they get high but they show up and they did their jobs so we were like okay, and that’s what we did you know we drank with him and then we went to styles acting class we go smoke and drink and come in and go to the other acting classes or go build some sets or go build some costumes, hang some lights.
All the things we had to do so I kept learning my lessons ad doing them and even at the low point of my addiction when I was a Broadway understudy and I was smoking crack on the back steps because I was feeling sorry for myself because I had done piano lessons at Yale and had originated a role and now Charles Dunn was doing it on Broadway the part was written for him.
He just happened to be doing Crocodile Dundee Two when he did it at Yale so I got to do it but naturally I think I did it better and then all of a sudden the play went to Pulitzer prize and he got nominated for it and I am sitting on the back step going fuck this man it should have been me.
I was blowing my brains out and the next thing I know I am in rehab, but in the midst of all those things, all those things I held on to what I needed to hold on to and everything happen when it was suppose to happen you can’t push it.
I know the desperateness of our people I see desperations sometimes when I talk to kids I how can I get to be where you are what do I need to do or you see actors who haven’t worked for a while there is something.
Somebody told me a long time ago when they go to auditions they look at the actors that come it and they go there is something right about an actor who works and there is something wrong about an actor who hadn’t work. People want to hire actors who other people hire so you continue to go to work.
That’s what I tell my wife she always say what you doing whit those peddling ass jobs a day on a movie a day here every job leads to the next job. Some of the people working on the next movie some of the people working on a bigger movie later on some of these people you know are kids that I was very nice to that was a PA is now fucking running the studio you know.
You got to remember things in the midst like I said in the midst of all the drug cloud and everything else there is certain things that you see like you see things on walls. I remember walking into the Die Hard office and se on the walls “be careful of the toes you step on today for they may be connected to the ass you kiss tomorrow.”
So you have to remember real shit like that there are PA’s that got walked on by people who were running the studio and now they now won’t give people jobs because they remember when that actor were like very shitty to them so I always try to treat everybody the way I want to be treated.
I know all the crew member I speak to the lowest crew member to the director, actors people talk about actors that don’t let you look on them when they walk on set, what kind of stupidity is that you know or don’t talk to the actors or actors would say they told me not to talk to you.
So why you talking to me well you look like you are okay, well I am you can talk to me it’s alright I am not going to get you fired you know, what’s your name I see him on set I call him by name the other actors, but everybody is there to do a job it is a very collaborative effort and you learn that from theatre.
Everybody has a job and if that person is not doing his job then your job is going to look bad especially in a movie you don’t know the guys that put the lights up you going to be standing in the fucking dark, you don’t know the guy that pulls focus you are going to be salt they may fire him for making you salt.
You should know all these people because everybody is a part of that whole but, like I say you learn these kinds of things. I was, I didn’t need to be famous or very successful until I got sober because I would have abuse that privilege and you see people abusing the privilege all the time we read about it in the papers.
They don’t go to their community service they don’t do a lot of stuff you know, some of the keep working some of them don’t. Some people you know you get straight and great things happen like Downy was a famous actor for a long time he got so much better and so many things happening for him now that he is sober it’s like maybe it finally hit him it clicks in you at some point.
For me I had a very patable (35:33) and real candle revelation that nothing good happened nothing successful happen. I had a lot of good things happen. Nothing successful happened until I got sober because I was ready to deal with what was going to come with that and amazingly enough I ended up playing who I was to become who I am.
I ended up doing Gator I had done all the research on a crack kid I did it and I made it an I made it a very honest and kind of a portrayal and not you know it was funny that was the summer of dueling crack heads it’s like me and Jungle Fever and Chris Rock and New Jack City so it was okay and I enjoyed watching Chris do what he did.
But I did what I did because I knew what I was and I knew how that worked when you manipulate people and you used them to your advantage in Gator did, so that when people saw that particular characterization you know I had mothers say that was my son sisters say that was my brother, brothers say that was my brother sister say that was my cousin.
Somebody everybody had somebody in their house that had done what gator did that had come by and gotten some money from them and used them in a specific kind of a way and it touched people in a very really kind of a way which is great and that was what I always wanted to do after watching specific actors do things.
You always want to have a profound effect on people when they leave the theatre you know so it’s always cool for me to have people quote lines for my movie when they see me and they yell things at me because that what some actors do their whole career nobody can quote not one line they ever did in a movie you know.
Please don’t you get tired of that, no, I get tire of not being recognized you know. I still have days where I am silly enough or vain enough that I leave hoe and I take the train.
HOST: Just to see SAMUEL L. JACKSON L Jackson.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: Just to see how many people recognize me,
HOST: I am still me.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: But it is always though I mean people don’t like lose their minds because it’s just me it is not like three big dude standing around me, it’s just me I am on the train I might have booked I might not have booked so I am just there and people go you know who you look like?
HOST: You named check Die Hard and I want to run a clip from Die Hard with the Vengeance and I will just talk to you a little bit about it. I guess there is a lot of things blowing up or not blowing up let’s see.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: There was some bogies in that crowd somebody actually gave me some money people like threw dollars on the ground I kept them.
HOST: You made three movies with him (40:52) National Lampoons and Loaded Weapon what’s up with you and Bruce Willis you like working with him, what is he good at.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: Bruce is good at making movies I mean there was a time when Bruce was BRUCE WILLIS you know and it’s funny because I was doing Kiss of Death with Nick Cage and I had auditioned for Water World and I was waiting in word from Water World.
HOST: You dodged the bullet there.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: I was thinking about going to Hawaii playing golf for six months
HOST: There you go.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: So one day they came by the set and said Lawrence Fishburn got water world but he was supposed to do Die Hard you want to do that, can I get a bigger room in the hotel, sure so that’s how I ended up doing Die Hard which worked out well for me because I was already in New York staying here so the big shoot all over the city but Bruce is a great guy.
Bruce was coming off a time when everybody say Bruce is one of those actors that gave people grief I guess after that (42:05) what was that movie with all the people was really mad and they hated that movie he was making an effort to become a better person to work with on set.
HOST: Imitating you
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: It was in the middle of summer so they would have days where like two hundred milk shakes would show up or he would just send a big ice cream truck there and people would get ice cream and when we left here and went to Charleston the movie every Fridays when we got off he would just buy club and open it for the cast and crew and spins records for himself or just have his band come and he would play.
We became great friend doing that and then I was doing I just finished rules of engagements an then my wife came to.
HOST: You are not going to clap for Rule of Engagement
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: But my wife came to Merry Cash to hang out with me because we were shooting in (43:04) which is like the naval people of Morocco and you have to go over the Atlas Mountain and Merri Cash so I went over there to meet her and I was in the casino and I kept looking at this guys that guy looks like Bruce but he is bald and then I hear him talk.
Bruce? Sam that’s you I thought that was you I thought it was guy with a hat on trying to be like Sam Jackson, look at that and we ended up playing Black Jack we sitting there playing Black Jack and i just talked to this guy he is writing a movie for us, yeah right, no, no seriously he dials this number and he gets this guy on the phone and he goes guess who I am here with?
I am will Sam Jackson talk to him and he gives me his phone and the guy goes who this is crazy i am writing your scene right now and I go who is this and he is like my name is Knight and Knight oh, the guy who wrote that Ghost movie that Bruce was in and he goes ye and I am writing a movie for you and Bruce right now and I am writing one of your scenes and it turned out to be Unbreakable and it was great. So we ended up together again which I think Unbreakable was like a fantastic film.
HOST: Is it true that you have a clause in your contract about being able to go play golf.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: Twice a week.
HOST: So you have been hooked on crack now you hooked on golf which is is the worst would you say.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: Golf is not so bad on your health
HOST: But it is almost as expensive.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: No I didn’t have sponsors when I was doing crack I get issue free golf clubs free golf balls I dint get nothing free when I was on crack, there were no perks.
HOST: There was no SAMUEL L. JACKSON Jackson discounts.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: Occasionally I would be in a crack house with a whole bunch of people you know or in a place where I was the only person who spoke English and somebody would go, dude right there right I go yeah, here you go that was about the extent of it though a lot of people would be selling guns and that’s not me.
HOST: I am worried that I am going to crash in to the audience question time without getting in this clip so I want to, I wish I had picked the Ezekiel scene you know the speech Pulp Fiction.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: It is not my favourite.
HOST: It’s not?
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: No
HOST: I went with you and John Travolta in the car talking about the Royale. Something about that stuck with me I think that the clip we got (45:45) one of the greatest movie of all time.
SAM: (45:50) is the best section of that movie but that’s you know.
HOST: That’s for letting me know, do we have a Pulp Fiction clip. Let’s just talk about the hair for a moment, both of you got some remarkable hair going on I see. This part was written for you yes?
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: So I was told it was a struggle you know after I was told that but, it is one of those kind of things, another point a lesson well learned about Hollywood and just about life in general. Yes Quentin.
When I audition for Reservoir Dogs and didn’t get a part I ran into him at Sundance when they screened it for the first time and was like how you like you haven’t gotten your part it would be a better move with me in it whatever, don’t worry I am writing something for you.
Really you remember me, yea, yea so I go off and doing this movie and I get this script I read it this Pulp Fiction it’s great and one day while I am home in LA they call me and said would you just come in and let us just read through the script and see how it sound.
I said okay cool so I went in we read through it is all good. I come here and I am shooting Fresh and Lawrence Bender who is one of the producers of Fresh and he was also the producer on Pulp Fiction and I get a call saying well you know there was this guy who came in and who read in front of the (49:12)but he want to read Jewels because it want enough stuff for the other part and we let him read but we really liked him. But I thought you wrote the part for me.
Well we did but we really like this guy so what that mean I got to audition now, well if you wouldn’t mind come in a read.
HOST: For a part that they wrote for you.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: So I am like oh, okay right so I am here in New York I got to fly to LA but I got to work till Friday, I got to work till Saturday and the audition is Sunday so I had to take the red eye to get to LA so ia m talking th red eye I am on the plane I got the Pulp Fiction script I and scribbling in the margin and I am trying to do all this stuff that I normally do when I am sitting at home by myself working out what I need to do and what I need do so I am getting it done. I stay up all night. I get there the next morning when I get there nobody is there.
The other guys has already been in and they gone to lunch and they come back everybody is like hey, hey, and they are introducing this one guy to me that I don’t even know and to this producer, and he goes you don’t need to introduce me to this man I love your work Mr Fishburn.
So now I am like really pissed okay this mother fucker doesn’t know who I am and I have to go in here I am pissed I go in and I start reading, they hired a reader and the kids sitting across the table he is reading and I am blasting through the scene and the dud gets lost you know.
He is like start stumbling and I am like what the fuck going on he is so busy watching me act that he is not paying attention so now I am really pissed so we run through all that we get through all the stuff and finally get to the diner scene and I rocked the diner scene out and I look up the casting director crying Quince is shaking his head and Lawrence is like that and I slam the door and leave and go get on a plane and come back to New York to go to work and Lawrence come back the next day.
So everything is cool you got the job I just got to tell you man that was such a revelation because we have been struggling with the end of this movie, this move we never knew how this movie ended until you read that speech now we got it.
I am like okay, but it didn’t let me feel any better about having to jump through that hoop but it is one of those lessons that you can never not do all the things that you did before to get you where you got. So I know that when I get a script it is time for me to figure out who the character is I got to sit down and I got to do all those things I got to do because you never know moment to moment they may change their minds call you in to do some shit, it’s like what do you.
HOST: Did it help that the movie killed it, you got an academy award nomination for that take a little bit of a sting.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: No not at all, I still think about that because once I forget that and I relaxed then something bad happens because that’s what happen. I should have known though because one of the early things that happened to me when I got here I remember 1980 I had an interview for Rag Time which I ended up being in and I was sitting there and James Earl Jones came in.
Now I remember reading the book and I read the script and I was a part for Book A. T. Washington so I figured oh James Earl Jones is here he is going to play Book A. T. because he is the pre eminent black actor on the planet at the time.
HOST: Plus he got the voice …
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: Yes and I am sitting there wow, James Earl Jones this is so cool sitting there so I said hey Mr Jones my name is Sam Jackson I am here interviewing for one of the gang members It is going to be great working with you in the movie he goes I am here for an interview. I got no you James Earl Jones you are not here for an interview you are here because they are going to put you in the movie, he is like I am here for an interview just like you.
So that was the first lesson right okay no matter how big I get I will have to come and do interviews and it happened over and over again only because I insist when I talk to my agents or my manager that they just send me scripts don’t send me something that says black just send me a script.
I will read it I will determine if there is somebody in there I want to be an that’s happened any number of times that I said I want to be in this movie and I want to meet these people and I do I go in there I have to meet them and do interview and talk to them about the film what I think the character is and what the relationship are with the other people and how race is not a dynamic that will change what is happening in the film.
HOST: Well given that you have been in one hundred movies and you read all these scripts give or take, what is it that I mean what is it in the script that really works, can you give four pages of things that you say that is never going to happen.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: Not necessarily four pages I can get fifteen pages in and say I don’t want to be in this movie and I can get fifteen pages in and know what’s happening on page thirty and what’s happing on page forty and page seventy only because people write by formula or film school thing that people teach, people do it.
I don’t know what makes a script unique or people attracted to it because everybody has a different taste this is the one thing I know I do some movies because it is the kind of movie I would have gone to see when I was a kid like Snakes on a Plane and I do some movies because I have a genre thing in my head that I always want to be in a specific kind of movie and I go oh this is that movie I have been looking for and I will find something in there that I want to do.
I still like a good story I think good stories are hard to beat that if you tell a good story and you excite people or grab their interest or pull at them in a specific kind of way then they will come see it and I like that.
HOST: Can you think of a movie where everyone killed it, it was a great story you totally proud of the work that you did in it, it was crickets nobody went and saw it.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: 187 was like that.
HOST: Tell us about that.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: Well 187 was suffered sort of a strange fate because it was a great movies about teachers and difficulties teacher had in schools where I actually played a New York school teacher who got stabbed here in New York and he moved to California because he couldn’t take going to school in New York he thinks it is going to be easier out there and he gets to California and runs into these gang members in his class room and he became sort of a vigilante of sorts he start taking these little gang kids out that were bothering him or harassing him in class to the point that end up playing these Russian Roulette games with the kids the end of the movie got crazy, but it was made by Icon Mel Gibson company at the time and it just so happen when they got ready to release the movie that somebody at the studio that was releasing the film had a son that was a school teacher there in New York that had a relationship with a student that had loaned him his bank card and the kid went to the bank came back to the apartment and killed him.
So all of a sudden it was like okay we can’t publicize this film because it seems like we are playing on the death of the studio death kids so they kind of pushed it out of the way and that’s part of what happened to that film.
Black Snake Mourn another film I did with Christina Richie the regime at paramount changed the people that made that film all got fired and the people that came in made Babbled so Babbled got uplifted and Black Snake Mourn got pushed to the side, its politics but people find those movies though.
HOST: It’s so hard to make a movie, right it takes years and years and all the money coming together and as you point out a movie emerges from the space between people everybody has got to kill it everybody got to do a good job.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: I mean Christina could be nominated for an Oscar she did such brave work in that film.
HOST: Then somebody dies and something switches up you are out.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: Yes you are out and somebody and another movie gets push and another movie gets pushed to the side, but that’s the politics of film making and there is nothing you can do about that.
HOST: You mentioned snakes, yes sir, you mentioned snakes on a plane or snakes on a bleeping plane as I call it you know we are not going to let you out of here without doing snakes on a plane we got it, I mean. You heard the title of the movie and ..made that movie.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: I reading the trails and I saw Ronahue to direct. Ronnie and I are friends Ronnie directed Formula 51 a film that I did in Liverpool with Robert Carlie, actually another great film that kind of goes under peoples radar only because of British humour and people they think Americans wouldn’t get it so they kind of backed away from that too.
Ronnie was directing the film so i called Ronnie and asked him if he was really directing the movie called snakes on a plane and he said yes and is it snakes on a plane he said yes, poisonous snakes look on a plane I said I am in and so he called Neuline and tells him Sam Jackson wants to do the movie, they are like great this is awesome and somewhere along the line Ronnie got fired.
Newline said Ronnie is gone you still want to do the movie, I said is it still snakes on a plane and he said yes, yes I am down let’s do it and then I get there to Vancouver and all of a sudden this specific flight 121, I am like what the hell is this? Well we don’t want to give it away,
Yes you do what else would you do snakes on a plane will either get people in to the movie or out of the movie specific flight 121 is going to keep everybody out of the movie so it is either snakes on a plane or I am gone you know so the take it back to snakes on a plane.
HOST: It’s not that because you like snakes that you want to make this movie.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: No I killed plenty of snakes when I was a kid you know with a great snake handler we had a room full of snakes but my agent told them no snakes within twenty feet of Sam ever, ever so i had the worst snakes doing the press tour than i had the whole time I shot the movie.
I had snakes draped all over me and in my pockets when we did the entertainment weekly shoot snakes everywhere just a bunch of snakes over me it’s okay.
HOST: You’re a snake man let’s see a little bit of the movie.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: That was the Good Wife in there was it, she kind of denied the existence of that role the things you do to get where you are.
HOST: That is so mean, when I watch this movie and I re watched it and there are like snakes every frigging where in this movie and I think to myself what do those snakes do when you yell cut where do they go.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: Back to CGI land
HOST: But some of them are real.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: They had real snakes on second unit so they had snakes doing stuff so they had this albino cobra that were striking the seat that we would watch on the monitor that was frightening.
HOST: That was probably as close I wanted to get.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: But we had a room full of snakes that was about I don’t know maybe three four thousand snakes in that room.
HOST: Do you every go in there march around show how down you were.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: Yes I just walked around in there because they had them in a this stuff and they would look at you but we had this one big tank full of like corn snakes when the first started there were maybe a hundred and fifty snake or so and by the time the movie was over there like six hundred snakes in there they were just breeding, it was great. Just a big rising mass of snakes they are actually okay thou you can pick them up and you get use to it.
HOST: I will leave that to you I will trust you I am not.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: Well that boy that is in the movie well the anaconda is real because it took like eight people to bring this thing in its big like sixteen foot anaconda it’s like that gigantic.
HOST: We Aare going to be going to questions in a little bit so if any of you guys start thinking about your snake handling questions your mac r questions we will delve back in there is many other movies to pick from.
Did you ever walk on a movie set you read the script you met everybody walk on you just realize everyone on the list is going to suck and the movie is terrible you just know it, you just smell it right when you walk in the stench of death.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: Yes.
HOST: We are sort of looking for proper names here though any movies.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: No body seen it I doubt anybody have really seen it.
HOST: We couldn’t dial up on Netflix we are going to have a
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: A movie call no good deed, it’s some interesting people in it Stellas Gardgards in it this dude Doug Hutchinson is that his name is that the dude that married to a 14 year old girl last week.
HOST: I bet he is not up on my TMZ so i couldn’t say.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: Doug, Milli Joseph it just didn’t
HOST: Didn’t jell
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: No it didn’t happen, I mean there are some other movies that people love that I had horrific experiences making and people
HOST: This is really juicy
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: People say all the time I really love that movie, yeah right.
HOST: I have let my entire brain past because you are so traumatized by it.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: When I hear that directors name I run screaming from the room and so.
HOST: But I did hear you say earlier that you know you talk amongst actors are the same (1:6:04)me is so boring is sit around and they act like look dude you not out you said in your trailer he is a banger.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: Can I simplified that for you, it’s a great job they pay us to wait they don’t pay us to work and that’s what they say and that’s kind of true you know movie days are twelve sixteen hours and out the twelve sixteen hours a day maybe I work two hours, but you know I stay caught up on judge Jody, Judge O’Brian, Judge Miriam.
I got all the judge shows down, I watch a lot of TV I watch a lot of TiVo on the show that are on at night I watch tons and tons of Asian film I collect like Chinese Korean Tia Japanese films so I watch ton and tons of DVD’s in my trailer all the time.
HOST: Do you need the sub titles or you just watch them.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: I need the subtitles I haven’t learned the language yet but I love watching them there is some movies I watch, I watch Old Boy like four times a year stuff like that and I like watch As a Many like six seven times a year because I like seeing people being chopped up and I buy new films, I just go and buy films all the time and I leave them in the shrink wrap until I get on location reach in the box tear it open stick it in without even reading the title.
So want so I am watching something new I learned how to use my time in a trailer and you know we got great trailers I don’t know why you know actors are vain.
HOST: They are not prison cells.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: No they are crazy you know it is kind of stupid to bitch about this job, great job you get paid a lot of money to do nothing you know and then they turn around and complain about watching themselves and can’t watch myself, if you can’t watch yourself why the hell you think somebody is going to pay $12.50 to watch you.
I will watch one of my films in a heartbeat you know even the one I don’t like.
HOST: And you, what I always love I cover the Oscars for several years and people getting in and talking about the courage of certain performance, so courageous, so courageous that you chose to go there he did a scene in a movie and then went back to his trailer and eat whatever he wanted and get tall money while he did it.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: And got somebody else to go get their food for them.
HOST: Were you waiting to ask some question go ahead sir thank you for your patience
Q: I was wondering if you can talk a little bit about working on the avengers and working with Charles Swaby.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: No I can’t because he will kill me.
Maybe something that you can talk or just working with him
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: Let me see we did most of our work in Albuquerque at the studios there you have seen the trailer it is kind of dope being there with all the super heroes and everybody there for a change not it was really great to be part of a whole movie and not just the end of it because majority of them I haven’t seen before I showed up did my connector lines that will lead to the next movie or the next character or whatever. Josh was great because he has a great sensibility about comics and comic books and that sort of film he is really adamant about what he wrote. Say what I wrote and maybe I will let you add something to it later. Say what I wrote first, let me hear that about nine times and then we will figure out if we like yours.
But I like Josh a lot Josh is very, very cool to work with I think the movie is going to be exciting I hope it is I know the part I was in was very exciting for me.
HOST: Of course
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: I had a great time I finally get to do something it kind of like Mace Windu in episode one you know I was patient now I get to Jack people up I had fun doing that people get a chance to see me actually Nick Furry can kick some ass so that’s great, so I get to do that.
HOST: Are you doing another movie with Quinton now?
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: I am doing a movie with Quinton in January February March. Jenjo and chain I go from being Martin Luther King the most beloved black man on the planet to playing a character names Steven to who be the most hated cinematic nigger in history. But I am waiting I am looking forward to that I am really looking forward to that the quintessential house nigger, yes Steven.
HOST: Well you certainly have a lot of range apparently young lady you have been waiting very patiently I see you.
Q: Hi Sam I am an acting teacher and I all of my students could have seen the telephone conversation in the second half of Mountain Top brilliant.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: Oh, thank you.
I would like to be able to tell them that yes even Mace Windu does his warm ups before he goes on to stage every night they are curious so please tell me you do something.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: I do warm ups before I do play every night, yes, lots of …lot of action , yes there is lots of stuff that goes on, corner center corner center lots of that so yes we do vocal warm ups.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: You’re welcome.
Q: Hi Sam Jenny Walters nice to meet you how are you,
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: I a fine.
Q: Good I am ever finer now that I am talking to you, so you have broken a lot of barriers in your career and they always say the first one through the glass collect a lot of shards how do deal with the push back from the non believers when you were rising up in your career.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: Push back from the non believers. I don’t know who they are you know (1:12:54)is part of this process I never took it personally I only felt sorry for people who didn’t hire me because they think they were smart enough anyway so I didn’t need to work for them.
I understood that you know that hear and know is just part of what we do but like I told my agent if you send me out five times a week I am going to book three jobs that’s what I do. I know that about myself I never thought about none believers.
You know what happens like I said desperation smells when you come into a room so I was like never really desperate for a job I was very confident about who I was and what I was doing so I would come into auditions and I would look at who was there and I would go, okay so you know what is going to happen right.
Because they knew me too and I go in and I come out of the room and I would say okay you can go now and sometimes people would leave so I eliminated the competition, but it wasn’t until I stop thinking about what all this is or what it could be or getting to whatever that you know something made sense to me.
That I was more concerned about the work, more concerned about character development what I did and what the feedback was I got from audiences and director that any of this started to make sense so you can’t worry about what people say you got to be confident even though you know watch yourself or find some way to see yourself because sometimes people.
Most of the people that were really, really, really confident around me really couldn’t act, so check yourself.
HOST: I wonder you know you were raised mostly by your mom, yes not a ton of money around, no segregated schools so not exactly a cake walk but you were never lacking for confidence and sort of self so where that come from, who helped you with that or.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: Well I am the only child so I spend a lot of time by myself and in my own head and in books. I read a lot I learn to read really, really early I think I started reading for real when I was like four so I read a lot I read a lot of comic books when my mom had this rule for every four comic books that I read I had to read a classic.
So I read a lot of classis I read a lot of comic books and I watch a lot of television when we finally could afford one it only had about four channels but I watched things about the world I watch all the travel stuff I watch geography stuff I watch all those Disney nature things and I read nature books and all that.
HOST: When you watch all that you didn’t see a version of you in terms of television.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: No I didn’t see a version of me anywhere no but you know I thought I was Errol Flynn, really you know went to the movie, I spent a lot of times going to the movies too on Saturdays I spent the whole day into the movies because they had these cartoon series we were watching in the mornings and they had this Lays Potato chip they had this thing you could get in the movies for a potato chip bag and they had actions.
So kids eat a lot of potato chips because you could buy bicycles and camera and transistor radios and stuff with potato chip bags if you have enough of them. So we would stay there for that and then we would watch the westerns and then we would watch double feature horror whatever was on at during the afternoon or action movie and then it show grown up films like two women or some Fellini or something and my mom would come and then I would go back to the movies with her and be in there until like 8”oclock at night.
So I was in the movies all day on Saturday so I fantasized and made up stuff that was going on with me and I was always a storyteller. My grandfather told me stories we would sit on the porch at night and he would make up stories and tell me stories he would scare me and make me laugh.
I learned to do that too and I would do that to my friend I would tell stories to all the kids in the neighbourhood so I was performing for a very long time and my aunt who was a 4th grade teacher was there in the house for awhile and my mom still lived in Washington and I was with my grandparents and my aunt and she was a 4th grade teacher who also did performing arts she was a dancer.
So whenever they had plays and pageants she was the director and she never had no boys and I lived in the house with her so from the time I was two she put me in stuff so I was the sugar plum fairy and I had pumpkin costumes on and I was humpty dumpty in a egg suit.
HOST: Like I said you had a lot of range from earlier age.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: So I did a lot of stuff performing she made me take tap dance with little girls who came to the house and she taught dance to I did dance to Yma Sumac when she was doing modern dancing on the side. I did a lot of crazy stuff for a little black kind in the south.
HOST: I am having trouble picturing this.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: Me too but it did happen it was great, she came in from LA last week and she saw me in the play it was the first time she see me performed on stage as an adult so it was good.
HOST: She got to see a magnificent role, please.
Q: Good evening, hi Sam how are you. you were brilliant in the Mountain Top and I personally think that you are one of the greatest actors and of all times and really precisely and because of the range and all of the different characters and the roles that you do you really transform yourself in these various roles.
But I want to ask you not specifically you did Rules of Engagement with Tommy Lee Jones and I hear that you are working on a legal drama for CBD that sounds really interesting, I am an attorney and I like the legal drams like you mentioned the Good Wife and you know that sort of a thing and before and before you go into that I have one other thing I have to tell you Joe who works up town in a coffee shop but he used t drive a hertz and he drove the hertz for you cousin’s funeral he told me to tell you hello If I had a chance to speak to you.
SAM: Thank you I appreciate that, I have a television deal with CBS I develop television shows and that legal drama happened to be one the things that I sold to them this season, basically about a guy who was ousted from his corporate law job because they needed a fall guy for this big deal falling through so they kicked him out and he ends up kind of going to work for his day who was like one of those very famous criminal defence lawyers who would defend anybody but, his dad is currently being disbarred.
So he uses his dads influence to become a trial lawyer and now his dad can actually go to court and mess with the jurors and do stuff and be an expert witness. His guy is the kind of guy who likes to sue people if they spill coffee on him so he can keep going to court because he can’t do stuff now.
You know just a silly little law show that CBS kind of likes to put on you know they like law shows doctor shows.
Q: Are you going to be in it?
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: No, I can’t work for TV I can’t work for network yet I also sold the show to cable so that’s another story too.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: You’re welcome.
HOST: Go ahead sir.
Q: Hey Sam I really liked your role in Jungle Fever it helped me stay off the wrong track when I was a younger person,
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: Oh good.
So my question is about Spike Lee if you could tell us about your impression of Spike working with him and if you will work with him again.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: Wow, well I know Spike from, why you laughing you know something what am I going to say, what you think I am going to say. I know Spike for a long time I didn’t know him at Moore House I met him when I was here working at Negro unsombo company I was in the original company of a soldier’s play and Spike came to see the show and told me he was a Moore House student he was at NYU ad he was going to be the big director and we talked and he did his first film and I wasn’t in it.
Then he called me and I did School Daze and I did, Do the Right Thing, More Better Blues, Jungle Fever and we had a small falling out when they did Malcolm X, but I went on to do White Sands and he went on to do Malcolm X and I kept moving and Spike kept moving and we are cool.
He is shooting a movie right now something about Mike Tyson and as I understand it he is on the books to do the remake of Old Boy. I don’t know that Old Boy needs to be remade but that’s a whole other story. But I would like to work with Spike again I think Spike has grown as a film maker I have certainly grown as an actor during that time. Hopefully that day will come but until it comes I just keep going to work.
You movies are all in my DVD library by the way,
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: Thank you.
HOST: Wait, I am going to kill myself if I don’t ask, what is the “L” stands for?
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: My middle name.
HOST: I know which is what?
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: Leroy.
HOST: SAMUEL L. JACKSON Leroy because these guys all call you Sam right, everyone that is coming up to the mike.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: You know what it’s funny they are doing that now but when I am on the street or even when I am driving down the street in LA I see people looking in the car and they go ..they always say my whole name you know SAMUEL L. JACKSON L Jackson, SAMUEL L. JACKSON L Jackson or they look SAMUEL L. JACKSON L Jackson. So yes Sam is good though.
HOST: Okay would you like to speak to SAMUEL L. JACKSON L Jackson.
Q: Yes, hi Samhow are you doing?
SAM: I am good
I have two things I want to say actually the question is I just recently saw Mother and Child I was wondering if you could speak on that briefly and also because I want to ask you because you are where I want to be one day.
No professionally I was wondering I have been wanting to make a promise to you that we will work together one day and can we shake on it, can we shake on it.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: We good I believe you, you got to put it out there yeas I hope so Mother and Chid Rodrigo Garcia I hope a lot of you or many of you saw that film but if you haven’t you should go out and rent it, it is a really, really great film with Annette Bening and Kerri Washington and Naomi Watts the woman I saw slept with in the movie.
Yes Naomi Watts a really wonderful movie that, wow I was really perplexed last year that Annette didn’t push that movie as hard as she pushed the Kids are Away, because I think she is better in this movie than she is in that movie but Rodrigo writes great parts for women it is a beautiful story about women and children and adoption and giving up kids for adoption.
I had a great time doing it, it’s kind of a diversion for me from what people use to see me do and it is a very touching film for me I am really proud of the fact that I did it and like I said if you haven’t seen it rent it, do something because e you will be pleasantly surprised but thanks for bringing that up, look forward to seeing you on set.
HOST: Go ahead sir.
Q: Good evening my name is Eugene Marsh Mr SAMUEL L. JACKSON L Jackson. I would like to say a brief moment because of what you talk about in your introduction. On the day that Dr King was assassinated on April 4th , 1968, I was stationed at Fort Jackson South Carolina, en route to South Viet Nam I would like for you to share with us about your trip to Memphis on the day that Dr. King was assassinated about the man of colour who wrote the sign “I am a man “can you explain to us please.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: I can explain where I was in that particular time. Like I said it just so happened that Robert Cope and Bill Cosby got this plane and they took a group of us from Atlanta to Memphis to march with the sanitation workers.
Wow I use to have one of those I am a man signs somebody eventually stole it like people take things from you when you kind of neglect them in that way but it was a very specific moment in time that made me feel like I was a part of something that was significant.
The anger that everybody felt and sadness at the same time and at Dr King’s assassination was very palatable in the city and us coming in as young people and to a group of organized grown men who were still being treated like second and third class citizens didn’t make us feel like we wanted to march peacefully but we knew we had to because that’s what Dr. King wanted and because that’s what his memory deserved on that day.
Because the rioting did not actually happen until the next day when all the stuff happened but I have always felt very honored to have been able to be there and to feel like I was part of a significant moment in time that honored the memory of somebody that kind of gave me a sense of closure in a way that I wouldn’t have had before if I had stayed there in Atlanta and not gone to Memphis or had I not gone to view the body the night before we went to Memphis because we all actually did that.
We all went over and saw the body before we all went and got on the plane and it’s not colored the way I look at the world but it colors the way I look at that particular time in my life in terms of I could have wasted it doing a lot of other things, but I didn’t at that particular time and I didn’t mar the memory of someone that I didn’t necessarily follow that closely at that time because like I said I was more of an advocate of the arm struggle that was about to happen that was a peaceful coexistence and not violence.
But I still think that was the right thing to do to not participate in the burning the looting the anger part of it you know it is almost like watching later on Mr Mandela comes out of prison and you know all those things we thought was going to happen in South Africa that did not happen but it made the country a better place because it didn’t.
So SAMUEL L. JACKSON L Jackson is that the state of Tennessee commissioned a raven of I am a man biography by a author by the name of Joe S. Hunt and that rendering of I am a man is symbolic throughout the world and I want to acknowledge that because of your presence there in Memphis Tennessee but also what it would do lose to the representation of African American men and its struggle and I want to say to you personally thank you for what you all have done.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: Thank you. Can I go to the bathroom?
HOST: No we have one more minutes and one more question and she is a fast talker.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: I will pee on myself.
Q: You right how did you know that I am a fast talker, his nice to share this evening with you SAMUEL L. JACKSON L Jackson, when did you decide that you wanted to be an actor and did you wanted to be film actor from the beginning I know you gave us that story about your aunt putting you in all these plays and everything so when did you decide and what was the first part that you played that you knew oh my God I got to do this.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: I think I have made the career decision my junior year in college when I was taking public speaking course and the guy offered me those extra credits to do Three Penny Opera and I did it and I love being on stage I love the fringe benefits that all came with that.
HOST: What do you speak sir
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: Sex drugs and rock and roll, sex drugs and cheap thrills actually, but I made the choice that year. Now I was one of those people who was dumb enough to think that acting was like any other job you know you start at entry level so theatre was entry level to me.
So I figured I would do theatre for a while and then you know I would get a commercial here and there and then I would get a soap job you know ad then I would get TV job and then become an actor in the movies because that’s what people do you start in the mail room. I had no idea until I start watching people leap in front of me who shouldn’t.
Because you know back in the day we had this thing called first it was athletes then it was comedians first they hired athletes and then comedian then they start hiring rappers and then it kind of what’s the hell going on what do I got to do.
So you don’t know but like they said the one thing we can learn all the stuff we can learn you can be the greatest actor in the world you can know left stage right up stage you can look into camera how to take a close up how to cry on queue all this stuff. Nobody can teach you to be in the right place at the right time .
Q: So you had a little bit of a luck?
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: Yes
Good to see you thank you.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: Thank you.
HOST: I want to thank each and every one of you for showing up for SAMUEL L. JACKSON L Jackson and if you have not do yourself a favor step out and see the Mountain Top it is an extraordinary bit of work and it is a pleasure.