There are few screen actors who have held onto their industry popularity better than Samuel L. Jackson, with the American icon having become a fan-favourite thanks to roles in the films of Paul Thomas Anderson, Spike Lee, George Lucas and more.
Whilst he is known for roles in the Star Wars and Marvel franchises, as Mace Windu and Nick Fury, respectively, he is perhaps better known for his arthouse roles, featuring in six films by the iconic Quentin Tarantino. Missing out on just four of the director’s movies, Jackson has starred in Pulp Fiction, The Hateful Eight, Jackie Brown, Kill Bill, Django Unchained and even as the narrator in Inglorious Basterds.
Speaking favourably of the filmmaker, Jackson claimed their collaborative efforts are incredibly organic, stating in a recent interview: “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”.
Given a major role in Pulp Fiction, The Hateful Eight and Jackie Brown, you’d think his favourite Tarantino role would go to one of these three films, but instead, he goes for something rather unpredictable.
Speaking in an interview with IndieWire, Jackson brought attention to the 2012 movie Django Unchained, noting, “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”.
When it came to speaking to Howard Stern during the promotion of his 2015 movie The Hateful Eight, there was no doubt that Jackson thought Tarantino was one of the most influential directors he’d ever worked with.
“I think probably the two most important directors in your career, Quentin Tarantino, of course, because he’s given you so many great roles and you’ve given him great performances,” Stern proposed on the show, with the actor humming in agreement. For his second choice, Stern chose Spike Lee, who Jackson worked with on Do the Right Thing, Oldboy, though the actor didn’t reply to the presenter with much enthusiasm”.
“Spike Lee, right? Do you think? Am I wrong?” Stern questioned, with the actor leaving a good period of silence before adding, “OK, no, not necessarily”. Seemingly replacing Lee with his next pick, Jackson stated, “There are other people. I’d say George Lucas,” bringing to light his role as Mace Windu in the Star Wars prequel films of the early 21st century.
Famously asking the director to be in the film, requesting a purple lightsaber to single his character out from the crowd, Samuel L. Jackson looks back at his time on the series with fondness, despite the films themselves being received poorly back in 1999 and the turn of the new millennium.
Take a look at the full interview between Howard Stern and Samuel L. Jackson, below.