Samuel L. Jackon reveals how he selects movie roles in a new interview with the Los Angeles Times. The acclaimed actor prioritizes scripts he enjoys versus work that may add awards and honors to his resume.
“Maybe a little bit. As jaded as I wanted to be about it, you know thinking, ‘Well, I should have won an Oscar for this or should have won for that and it didn’t happen,’ once I got over it many years ago, it wasn’t a big deal for me. I always have fun going to the Oscars. I always look forward to getting a gift basket for being a presenter. [Laughs] I give stuff to my relatives; my daughter and my wife would take stuff out. It’s cool,” the veteran actor explained when asked about the emotional moment he was presented an honorary Oscar by Denzel Washington.
“But otherwise, I was past it. I was never going to let the Oscars be a measure of my success or failure as an actor. My yardstick of success is my happiness: Am I satisfied with what I’m doing? I’m not doing statue-chasing movies. You know [whispers]: ‘If you do this movie, you’ll win an Oscar.’ No, thanks. I’d rather be Nick Fury. Or having fun being Mace Windu with a lightsaber in my hand.”
He continued, saying how he has no regrets in making decisions on which roles to accept and which ones to pass on.
“No,” Jackson answered. “I want to do the stuff that made me want to go to the movies when I was a kid. I want to do that movie that people just want to see so they can get out of themselves. That’s the guy I chose to be and I’m fine with it. I’m satisfied because that’s who I am. I’m the guy who does the lines that people see on T-shirts. There’s actors who go their whole careers and no one can quote a line they’ve said in a movie. People go to watch my movies to see how crazy I’m going to be or see how many times I say motherfu**er. [laughs] Whatever gets them in the seats.”
“When the big incident happened, I was like, ‘Whoa!’ My wife asked me, ‘Is this a bit?’ And I said, “No, Will just slapped the sh*t out of Chris.’ My wife and I were sitting next to Liv Ullman and her husband and Liv’s asking my wife, ‘What’s happening?’ My wife said, ‘Nothing. Don’t worry about it. It’s all fine.'”
He continued, “I didn’t really care about that, so much as I’m still a little ticked that the greatest actor we had in Hollywood died and they gave him, what, 10 f**king seconds. No. It should have been a whole Sidney Poitier section. The reason Will Packer is producing this show is because of this guy. The reason Will Smith won an Oscar is because of this guy. The reason for Denzel, the reason for me, the reason for Danny [Glover], the reason for everybody is that guy, and he deserves more than 10 f**king seconds of your time, especially for what he meant, not just to us, but to Hollywood period. He gave dignity to Hollywood. He was Hollywood f**kng royalty. And he did not get what he deserved out of that f**king show.”
In the interview, Jackson also discusses working with Quentin Tarantino, his relationship with Denzel Washington, and more. Read more in the LA Times here.