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

It is the kind of star that when entering a room causes everyone to turn their eyes. Tall, with an unmistakable timbre of 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 trait 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 says seriously but wanting to burst out laughing, that laugh that resonates every time his characters have a glimpse of a comic moment.

Always quick-witted, the actor from pulp fiction Y starwars He sets out 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 goes up and down or the speed of speech, how loud someone is speaking or how soft someone is speaking. All of these things were amazing. So my grandfather told me that he should make up stories and tell them to him. And then I would make up a story to tell him.”

The reason Jackson is meeting via Zoom with Worship and a small group of media is the premiere of a project that strikes his most personal chord. For almost a decade he tried to adapt The Last Days of Ptolemy Gray (2010), the novel by writer Walter Mosley about a man at the epilogue of his life, a dream that was fulfilled by turning it into a six-part miniseries for the Apple TV+ platform, where it will be released next Friday the 11th. moment it happened, I was ready and eager to do it,” he says.

Thanks in part to the work of make-up artist Jack Garber, with whom he 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 who embodies in fiction. “I remember specific incidents and how things happened, or how it affected them that 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 cuts off. “I have always thought that there is a part of me in the multiple 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, ironically, he arrives with two leading men in series: The Last Days of Ptolemy Gray Y Secret Invasionthe Marvel fiction for Disney + in which he plays Nick Fury once again.

“I’ve always been interested in doing television,” he declares, along with expressing his admiration for The Sopranos, The wire Y shield. “I like to see those characters and tell a deeper story than a normal TV series could be. I started to feel like I could or should have had a chance to be in all of that kind of stuff sooner.” So what happened? “My agents and managers, being the wonderful people that 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’m not a method actor” – La Tercera


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