Samuel L. Jackson explains how being a Hollywood star was never a real dream when he was growing up, but how he ended up there anyway


Samuel L. Jackson has been Hollywood’s box office king for five decades — and surprisingly, he’s never even won a competitive Oscar. Of course, Jackson got his due with an honorary Oscar at this year’s Oscars. Despite his success and dominance in the industry, he didn’t always dream of being an actor. The Marvel veteran opened up about it in an interview, explaining how he landed in the entertainment business, although he never dreamed of getting into it once he drew.

The Oscar-winning actress made the startling revelation while being interviewed by Deadline. Samuel L. Jackson mentioned that he grew up listening to the radio, swapping stories with his grandfather, and having an active imagination instead of watching television. His only interaction with visual media was on Saturdays when he spent all day watching cartoons and movie series at the cinema. He admired film swordsmen like Burt Lancaster and Errol Flynn but saw no future in the film industry despite all that. The Spider-Man: Far From Home The actor explained how growing up in the segregated South of the United States limited his possibilities, although he gained a slight spark, thanks to a family member:

Imagining that you wanted to be on screen or to be a movie star was like, no, that was crazy. I grew up segregated, you know, it just didn’t happen… It never occurred to me that I could be a movie star, even though I watched Sidney Poitier from time to time on the screen. It just wasn’t in the realm of possibility. It was not something to aspire to. It was a chimera. No one ever told me I could be who I am now. People told me I could be a doctor, a lawyer, an Indian chief or whatever. Nobody told me I could be that thing, you know. I only found out about it because I lived in a house with a woman, my aunt, who was a performing arts teacher, and whenever she had to perform a play or show or whatever, I lived in home with her. So from the time I was about three years old, she was putting me in stuff. I understood the applause, I understood that someone was pinching your cheek… and that made me feel good.

Growing up segregated apparently cast a realistic lens on the Tree the star’s acting aspirations (or lack thereof) early on. The lack of representation also seemed to shape his idea of ​​what was feasible for black artists at the time. Although it’s nice to hear that her aunt played a part in her stage exposure.

Eventually, Samuel L. Jackson decided to pursue a medical career, but the acting bug took hold of him during his tenure at Morehouse College in the 1970s. His decision to take a specific course, coupled with the rise of the era of blaxploitation in cinema, made him realize that a career as an actor could be a possibility:

I understood that part, but it never occurred to me [that] I can make a living and people will tell me how much they love me, how much they love me. It only occurred to me maybe somewhere in college where I started watching these blaxploitation movies, it was more of a black representation on screen… I had a friend who was an actor, a guy I grew up with, who was an actor at the Morehouse/Spelman players in college. And I took a course in public speaking, and all of a sudden the guy offered us extra credit if we did Threepenny Opera because he didn’t have enough guys, again. And I did, and all these things that I had done as a kid came back to me, and it was like, ‘Oh, wow. I really want to get up and go to class right now or go to this thing. And all of a sudden I was there, and it became like a career, kind of like a crack that I could look at and say, ‘Well, I’m sick of studying all this fucking science. . I can just go in here, hang out with these girls, and act and be cheap sex, drugs, and thrills at the theater. So let’s do that and see what happens.

I’m incredibly grateful that he found his way to this public speaking course, because he might not have entered the acting field without it. Think about it, the world wouldn’t have had his performances like star wars‘Mace Windu, jurassic parkof Ray Arnold or Nick Fury of Marvel. These roles are fantastic, as are his turns in pulp Fiction and Django Unchainedfor which he was snubbed.

The 73-year-old actor certainly has a longer acting resume than most, which has helped him become Hollywood’s highest-earning star. And he’s still as busy as ever with film and TV projects after five decades in Hollywood. He recently led Apple TV+ The Last Days of Ptolemy Gray and will be heard in Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hankwhich hits theaters on July 15.

And his tenure at Marvel is soon to end, too, as he’s set to reprise his role as SHIELD’s former boss in Wonders and so called Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. He’ll also finally direct his own MCU production, the Disney+ miniseries. Secret Invasionwith Emilia Clarke and Olivia Colman among those joining.

We’ve gotten some great work from Samuel L. Jackson over the years, and it’s exciting to think about what he’ll do next. Let’s all be thankful we got to enjoy this acting legend for so long. Also, keep up with the latest productions by keeping an eye on CinemaBlend’s 2022 movie release schedule.

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