Samuel L. Jackson talked about how his mom’s Alzheimer’s connected him to the story of his new series

Hollywood is full of iconic artists, of the new names that conquer allof stories of overcoming or resilience, of scandals and red carpets. Almost as if it were a completely independent nation from the real world, the american entertainment industry is both a land of opportunity and sin. It is in that mix of completely disparate situations that a select group of actors with whom their own colleagues consider that -working with them- is one of those honors that only happens once in a lifetime. Meryl Streep, Jack Nicholson, Anthony Hopkins, Maggie Smith… and Samuel L Jackson.

With his first job in the cinema just at the age of 33 (Ragtime, 1981), his career on the big screen positioned him as the highest-grossing live-action actor of all time. But not only that, thanks to his roles in Goodfellas (1990), Jurassic Park (1993), Pulp Fiction (1994), Star Wars: Episode I (1991), Kill Bill: Volume 2 (2004) or his participation in the metaverse of MARVEL, He is also one of those artists with whom the audience has a very special emotional connection..

A list of amazing productions to which, yesterday Friday the 11th, The Last Days of Ptolemy Gray was added. A fiction that took him to a role very different from the one we have seen and where -as always- he shines thanks to his enormous talent.

Samuel L. Jackson in The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey. Photo courtesy of AppleTV+

In OHLA! We had the unique opportunity to chat with him and have him tell us what it was like to get involved with this project and what he learned from playing Ptolemy Grey.

In an interview you said that you fell in love with this project because you consider it a family story. What was it about this that pushed you to get involved with the series?

Samuel L Jackson. I have loved this story for ten years. I always thought it was a fantastic story about this man who tries to understand what happened in his life when he finds himself in a state that was very familiar to me because I lived with my grandfather, my mother, his brother and sister… all these people who suffered from Alzheimer’s and then dementia. So for me it is an honor to tell the story of a person who impacted many and, above all, because of the kind of life he lived.

So this incredible opportunity presented itself and it would have ‘killed’ me not to take it.

[Una situación que] It was very familiar to me because I lived with my grandfather, my mom, his brother and sister… all these people who suffered from Alzheimer’s and then dementia – Samuel L. Jackson

In your career you have all these super tough characters but, in this series, we see the most vulnerable side of society. What was it like exploring this?

Samuel L Jackson. Normally I get to play these strong, leading characters, but it wasn’t difficult for me to play Ptolemy…with whom I got to explore this fear, being lost in your own mind.

I saw how this is in real life, I saw it in people important to me like my mom or my grandfather… [Estuve en la situación de] talk to them, ask them questions that I knew they knew the answer to but couldn’t find. See what this does to them, the frustration and anger it means. So being able to project that onto my character so that people can connect, feel the “oh… i remember that”, was very important to us. I’ve been on both sides of the conversation and I would be very happy to know that the audience of the series will be able to recognize this and know that we work it from a very honest place.

Samuel L. Jackson in The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey. Photo courtesy of AppleTV+
Samuel L. Jackson in The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey. Photo courtesy of AppleTV+

The Last Days of Ptolemy Gray was going to be a movie and it ended up becoming a miniseries, why was this?

Samuel L Jackson. I don’t think we could have told this story in an hour and a half. I definitely needed this six hour miniseries and even… it could have been eight, no problem. I think that this structure allows the audience to get to know in depth all these characters that go through Ptolemy’s life and had an impact on him, as well as accompany him in the resolution of the great mystery that he tries to unravel. [Seis episodios] It gives us the opportunity to travel with him and discover the meaning of what happens to him.

We talked about this a little bit in the other questions but I would like to return to the topics of the series. It certainly explores the fear and difficulties of growing older, but what other themes do you feel it works on that are also important?

Samuel L Jackson. I feel like it also explores the relationship between adults and young people, the benefits of being old or… the benefits of having a conversation between these two generations. In terms of someone learning what happened in the past but also the adult knowing what kids are going through today. The relationship that can develop between two people who don’t know each other but who have a need to share some kind of love… think that Ptolemy was isolated and alone for so long, nobody cared for him or saw the value of him.

I think another of the things that fiction explores is the value of the past. How important do you think it is to know our past?

Samuel L Jackson. We have this phrase that says that whoever fails to remember his past is doomed to repeat it. I feel that having knowledge, not only of the mistakes you made, but also of the things that led you to certain decisions, gives you the ability to free yourself and even help others who may be going through something similar to what you did. you passed I think they are all life lessons… we may or may not listen to them, but we always try not to repeat them.

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Samuel L. Jackson talked about how his mom’s Alzheimer’s connected him to the story of his new series


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