Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Great piece about Samuel L. Jackson from Time.

Entertainment: Talking about of course Snakes on a Plane, but mostly about his personal tastes in his roles.

Of the various lies that actors tell--there are no small parts, it's a privilege just to be nominated, working with Woody is a dream come true--there's one that Samuel L. Jackson simply cannot abide. "Everybody thinks it's cool to say 'I hate watching myself onscreen,'" says Jackson. "Well, that's b_______. We're in a narcissistic business. Everybody likes watching themselves." Jackson, 57, proudly sees every one of his movies in a theater with paying customers. If he's channel surfing and spots an old performance, he puts down the remote. "Even during my theater years, I wished I could watch the plays I was in--while I was in them! I dig watching myself work." If watching oneself is, as Jackson claims, all actors' secret pleasure, Jackson distinguishes himself from his peers in two ways: he cops to vanity, and his vanity has a track record for dovetailing with popular taste. "My agent is always looking for movies to get me the Academy Award, but I don't think like that," says Jackson, whose films have taken in more money at the box office than those of any other actor in history. "I want the movies I'm in to remind me of things I spent Saturday afternoons watching as a kid and then went home and pretended to be in." The Star Wars prequels satisfied his Errol Flynn swordplay fantasies. Shaft let him be the urban John Wayne. Snakes on a Plane, out Aug. 18, fulfills his love of B-movie suspense and his endless desire to watch himself kick ass. "When I think about it," he says, "a lot of my choices are wish fulfillment." ....Of course, Jackson mostly wants to entertain himself. So he will make sure to get to a Snakes screening on opening weekend--"I'm looking for a full theater, hopefully where people will shout at the screen," he says--and he remains in the hunt for his personal filmic holy grail. Not an Oscar-winning role ("Uh, have you seen some of the people who have Academy Awards?" he asks, laughing) but a genuine old-fashioned western. "I want horses," he says. "I want to stand in the middle of the street and see if I'm faster than somebody. I want to pick people off rooftops. Doesn't that sound like a good time?"
A Samuel L. Jackson pure Western? I am there.

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