Besides being known for some incredibly memorable roles from the past two decades – Jules from Pulp Fiction, Nick Fury from the Marvel movie universe, and Ray “Hold On to Yer Butts” Arnold from Jurassic Park – Samuel L. Jackson is also known for being one of the most outspoken and honest Hollywood actors on the planet. Just ask New York Times film critic A.O. Scott.
Recently, while promoting his role in Django Unchained, Jackson talked about a wide range of things, including his desire to be in Star Wars: Episode 7 , his not-so-flattering opinion of M. Night Shyamalan, the prospect of an Unbreakable 2, and his unalienable right to criticize A.O. Scott for his criticism of The Avengers.
We’ve selected several quotes from the interview below, but make sure to read Mike Ryan’s full interview at The Huffington Post.
I’ve seen you say that you’d be willing to come back for ‘Star Wars: Episode 7.’
With the way we last saw Mace Windu …
“He just went out the window.”
He could still be alive.
“He just went out the window. He’s a Jedi! He could have landed on a ledge.”
In ‘Attack of the Clones,’ Anakin jumps out of a speeder and lands on another speeder. Why couldn’t Mace Windu have done the same thing?
“I could have done any of that. And I’m down with that.”
In Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, Mace Windu (as played by Jackson) learned that Chancellor Palpatine was secretly a Sith Lord and decided to confront the man in his office, to which Palpatine screamed, “No, no, no.” After Anakin Skywalker intervened and chopped off Windu’s arm, Palpatine blasted the Jedi Master out the window – with force lightning/“unlimited power” – and presumably to his doom.
Of course, it’s possible that Mace Windu could’ve survived that fall, what with his Midichlorians and all, but the prognosis didn’t look so good at the time. Plus, his survival would raise all sorts of awkward continuity questions, like, “If Windu was alive throughout the Original Trilogy, where was he at the time? Why didn’t he help Luke Skywalker realize his Jedi potential? Why didn’t he fight the Empire, and Darth Vadar, and Emperor Palpatine?” It’s this sort of thing – bending backwards to fit certain characters from previous movies into a sequel/prequel – that made parts of the Prequel Trilogy storytelling so clumsy, to say the least.
Which isn’t to say it couldn’t work. Anything’s possible.
On the topic of M. Night Shyamalan and Unbreakable 2:
We’re never going to see a sequel to [‘Unbreakable’], are we?
“There were supposed to be three. I don’t know.[…] You’ll have to ask the brilliant director who wrote it and didn’t do the rest of them. I mean, he hasn’t made a really good movie since [Unbreakable]. […] He suffered from what happened to Quentin when he made ‘Jackie Brown.’ He didn’t make ‘Pulp Fiction 2,’ he made ‘Jackie Brown’ – which is a wonderful ****ing movie.”
People love ‘Jackie Brown.’
“But it wasn’t ‘Pulp Fiction 2.’ ‘Unbreakable’ also didn’t have the numbers of ‘I see dead people.’ That was a problem for [M. Night Shyamalan] … for his ego and the studio, also.”
If M. Night announced tomorrow that ‘Unbreakable 2’ is going to happen, it would be all over the Internet.
“Everybody would be waiting for it, yeah. It would be crazy for it. It would trend through the roof now on Twitter. But, yeah, they would. But Quentin makes movies that Quentin wants to see. I don’t think M. Night makes movies for the same reason. Quentin makes movies that are genres that he wants to see. ‘I like Spaghetti Westerns – I’m going to write a Spaghetti Western. I like blaxploitation movies, too – so I’m going to make the protagonist black.’ So, he’s got a blaxploitation western with Hong Kong undertones. The ‘Bullet Ballet’ undertones. He wants to see it and I want to see it. I want to be in that kind of movie.”
I think M. Night gets too caught up on having to have a twist.
“Yeah, there’s that. And there’s, you know, ‘I’m smarter than everybody coming to watch my movie.’ Quentin’s not that. He’s just, ‘I want you to love my movie. I want you to love it and enjoy it because this is ****ing cool.’ “
M. Night Shyamalan has received his fair share of criticism over the past few years – particularly for his adaptation of Avatar: The Last Airbender (though The Happening, Lady in the Water, and The Village weren’t exactly beloved) – but this may be the first time an actor who’s worked with him has been so bluntly critical of his work.
It’s hard to imagine that Shyamalan will be more inclined to make Unbreakable 2 after hearing what Jackson has to say about him. Then again, Hollywood-types have overlooked far worse for the sake of cinema (and, of course, $$$).
Why did you take that so personally? It wasn’t like people weren’t going to see ‘The Avengers.’
“Well, that was my point. 99% of the people in the world look at that movie as what it is. It’s not an intellectual exposition that you need to intellectualize in any way. The people that read A.O. Scott, 30 percent of them were going to see the movie. The other 70 percent want to read [about something else.] ‘Talk about something else, m*********er. Send your kid to see the movie and ask the kid what he thought.’ He had a right to say it. […] That’s OK, but it’s not like I didn’t have a right to re-criticize him just because I’m an actor. That’s the point. That was the real sole point for everybody. ‘How dare this actor say something about what a critic wrote?’ ”
I saw people defending both sides.
“**** that. If you can say it, then I can say something about it. Other people write in about it and nobody gives a ***. Just because it was me, it was like, ‘Oh, ****.’ It’s like, ‘Yes, m*********er, I pay attention.’ Unlike other actors, I don’t lie and I don’t bull**** people. I read **** about me. I read everything I can about me. And if you say something bad about me and I agree with it, I’ll be OK with it. But if you say something that’s ****ed-up about a piece of bull**** pop culture that really is good – ‘The Avengers’ is a ****ing great movie; Joss did an awesome job – if you don’t get it, then just say, ‘I don’t get it.’ In general, you don’t compare that **** to a John Wayne movie. And you don’t call me a game-show host and get away with that ****.”
For reference, A.O. Scott wrote the following about Samuel L. Jackson in his review: “Mr. Jackson, with an eye patch and his well-practiced bellow, is more master of ceremonies than mission commander, and under his watch the Avengers indulge in some Rat Pack-y horsing around.” To which Jackson replied: “#Avengers fans,NY Times critic AO Scott needs a new job! Let’s help him find one! One he can ACTUALLY do!”
While it’s certainly true that anybody can criticize a criticism – indeed, some criticisms are in dire need of criticism – I’m not entirely sure it’s fair to call for a critic’s job over one bad review of a film, no matter how good that film is. But hey! That’s just my opinion.
What’re your thoughts, Screen Ranters? Do you want to see Samuel L. Jackson in Star Wars: Episode 7? Do you agree with him with regard to M. Night Shyamalan and/or A.O. Scott? Let us know in the comments.
Django Unchained – starring Samuel L. Jackson as “Stephen” – hits theaters December 25th, 2012.
Follow me on Twitter @benandrewmoore.
Source: The Huffington Post