Why Samuel L. Jackson Can Be Difficult for Directors to Work With

Samuel L. Jackson is one of the busiest men in Hollywood. At 70 years young, the Quentin Tarantino frequenter continues to make waves in an industry rarely kind to those above 40. Appearing in Spider-Man: Far From Home and Shaft this year, the actor is often a first-choice on casting directors’ lists.

Samuel L. Jackson | Photo by Anthony Harvey/Getty Images

Samuel L. Jackson brings signature flair to every role he steps into. With an unwavering sense of confidence, he steps into Nick Fury’s shoes – walking several miles as the Avengers’ main recruiter – to then play a wheelchair bound and cunning Elijah Price in Glass. Jackson enjoys working, as he explained in the past, and it’s evident to all those who continue to flock to his movies.

Though casting directors may know that hiring Samuel L. Jackson is the closest you can get to a surefire bet (when it comes to ticket sales), the actor comes with a price, and we’re not talking financial compensation (which is likely pretty handsome, to say the least). Samuel L. Jackson has a way of working that may present difficulties for some directors.

Samuel L. Jackson performs scenes his way

During an interview with CBS, Samuel L. Jackson explained that he tries to live up to a mantra that has worked for him throughout his career: ask what the audience wants to see and give it to them. After several years in showbiz, the actor has a pretty strong grasp on what his fans want to see, which may sometimes lead to a little contention. 

The interviewer inquired, “So if a director wants you to do something you don’t think would be good for you or good for the film, you won’t do it?” Jackson replied, “No, pretty much,” and went on to clarify:

“Some people think that they could overcome it. That, you know, we come to a compromise, you know, and they go, “Look, I get what you’re doin’, and I understand it, but can we try this other thing one– one time?” “No, we can’t, ’cause if I do it one time and it’s on film, and you go to the editing room, that’s the thing you like, that’s the first thing you’re gonna look at, not the logical thing that I did. So let’s just not do what you want to do.” So you don’t have that option.”

CBS

Samuel L. Jackson does not give directors a chance to see a scene performed in a way that goes against what he thinks is best. After many successful films, the Oscar and Golden Globe nominated actor has a right to put his foot down. 

Jackson isn’t trying to be argumentative, but he won’t sacrifice the ability to satisfy fans’ wishes. Fans want to see Jackson deliver lines in a certain way, with his signature mannerisms. Samuel L. Jackson explained that, while in theatre, he learned to “light it up to the point that, when you leave, people want to go with you. And I hope that’s who I am when I show up.”

What’s next for Samuel L. Jackson following ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home?’

If Samuel L. Jackson has his way, he won’t be slowing down anytime soon. With an IMDb page decked out with films set for 2019, 2020, and 2021, fans will be seeing a whole lot more of Jackson following Spider-Man: Far From Home.

Jackson is set to star in The Last Full Measure, The Banker, The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard, Spinning Gold, and Blazing Samurai. While Blazing Samurai has only just been announced, Spinning Gold is in pre-production. The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard and The Banker are both in post-production while filming for The Last Full Measure is complete. 

The Banker will tell the story of the first African American banker in the US, while Spinning Gold will trace the life of 1970s record producer Neil Bogart. In typical Samuel L. Jackson fashion, the others are action-oriented; however, The Last Full Measure tells the story of a man who receives the nation’s highest military honor for actions on the battlefield over 30 years prior.