Most actors in the world would be delighted to get the golden opportunity of working under the direction of Quentin Tarantino, especially since he is reportedly working on coming up with an idea for his tenth and final film. Considering the legacy he is leaving behind, which include cult classics like Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction, the chance to appear in Tarantino’s final project will be an up-and-coming actor’s shortcut to fame.
If there is one actor who does not need to worry about getting in on the action, it’s Samuel L. Jackson. The creative partnership of Tarantino and Jackson is already immortalised by popular culture. Over the course of their respective careers, the duo have worked together since Tarantino’s breakthrough masterpiece Pulp Fiction after having appeared in True Romance whose screenplay was written by Tarantino.
When he was asked about his favourite role in a Tarantino film, Jackson chose his powerhouse performance in Django Unchained as a house slave: “I love fucking Stephen…I mean, the dude ran that fucking plantation. Candyland was his fucking plantation… Dude’s writing the bills. [Stephen is] making sure the crops get planted. He’s making sure the slaves get sold. He runs that place.”
The two have learnt a lot from each other, according to Jackson, who said that he understood the definition of filmmaking magic while working with Tarantino. The director keeps the production process alive by banning cellphones on set, playing music to get the actors in the right headspace and even indulging in storytelling during breaks in between takes.
Jackson claimed that the collaborative force he shared with Tarantino was incredibly organic. While trying to find the right words to describe their connection, the actor said: “There’s just something very natural in our connection in terms of his art and my talent that mesh in a beautiful and wonderful and creative, joyous, ecstatic, orgasmic kinda way.”
Jackson also famously argued against the hypocrisy of artists who claim that they ignore their own work: “That’s total bullshit. Come on, it’s a total ‘look at me’ business. You’re saying this because you’re trying to humble yourself and do all that shit but hey you’re in a business where you’re asking people to look at you all the time, you know: ‘watch me do what I do’.
He defended his opinion by stating that the spectacle of cinema is a major part of the experience: “Listen, if you want to be good, really good, there’s no time to be humble. You don’t have to put it right in people’s faces. But if you can’t stand to watch yourself work then why should people pay $12.50 to watch you work?”.