The expanding legend of Samuel L. Jackson: “I am not a method actor” – La Tercera

It is the type of star that upon entering a room causes everyone to turn their eyes. Tall, with an unmistakable voice, wearing his beret on duty, Samuel L. Jackson (Washington, 1948) is a powerful presence both outside and inside fiction, where his legend continues to expand.

That feature is not lost in virtuality, when it suddenly appears on the other side of the screen. “They will be really long answers, so there will only be about three questions,” he assures seriously but wanting to burst out laughing, that laugh that resounds every time his characters have a glimpse of a comic moment.

Always quick-witted, the actor from pulp fiction Y Star Wars He is about to look at his past. She recalls the nights when she listened to the radio with her grandfather and entertained herself with the radio drama versions of The Lone Ranger and of The shadow. “It was just voices,” she says, “but you learn how to nuance the story through the way the voice rises and falls or the speed of the speech, how loud someone is speaking or how soft someone is speaking. All these things were amazing. So my grandfather told me that he make up stories and tell them. And then I would invent a story to tell him.”

Why Jackson is meeting via Zoom with Worship and a small group of media is the premiere of a project that touches his most personal fiber. For almost a decade he tried to adapt The last days of Ptolemy Gray (2010), the novel by the writer Walter Mosley about a man in the epilogue of his life, a dream that came true when he turned it into a six-episode miniseries for the Apple TV+ platform, where it will be released next Friday the 11th. The moment it happened, I was ready and eager to do it,” he says.

Thanks in part to the work of makeup artist Jack Garber, with whom I had previously collaborated on Django Unchained (2012) and The 8 most hated (2015), the interpreter puts himself in the shoes of a nonagenarian with dementia who is left in the care of a young orphan (Dominique Fishback) and who lights up when he discovers a treatment to temporarily recover his memories.

“People in my family tend to live a long time, which is pretty good, so I’m still here,” he says. In a darker dimension, his mother, his grandfather and other relatives suffered from a mental deterioration similar to that of the protagonist he embodies in fiction. “I remember specific incidents and how things happened, or how it affected them when I spoke to them, or the look on their face when they were trying to remember something that I thought they should remember until I learned not to ask those kinds of questions,” he says.

“I’m not a method actor,” he says. “I have always thought that there is a part of me in the many characters that I play. You can’t help it, because it’s you. I tried to give Ptolemy specific qualities that I know and understand. He looks a lot like some of my grandparents and his siblings and some ancestors,” he describes.

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Jackson is getting ready to receive the honorary Oscar for his contribution to the world of cinema in the coming weeks, in the middle of a year in which he ironically arrives with two leading roles in series: The last days of Ptolemy Gray Y secret invasionthe Marvel fiction for Disney+ in which he once again plays Nick Fury.

“I’ve always been interested in doing television,” he declares, along with expressing his admiration for the sopranos, The wire Y The shield. “I like seeing those characters and telling a deeper story than a normal TV series could be. I started to feel like I could or should have a chance to be in all that kind of stuff sooner.” So what happened? “My agents and managers, being the wonderful people they are, kept me working and made sure I never had time to do any of that.”

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The expanding legend of Samuel L. Jackson: “I am not a method actor” – La Tercera

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