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For our April cover, the motherf*ckin legend @SamuelLJackson tells it like it is—all of it. Hit the link in bio to read the cover story by @carvell_wallace. 📷 @marchomstudio, Coat by @Hermes; suit and shirt by @Versace; tie by @DriesVanNoten; shoes by @Ferragamo; cane by @Gucci. Grooming by @autumnmoultriebeauty.
Once a year, or maybe once every two years, Samuel L. Jackson will sit down for a lengthy magazine profile. Those annual events are always some of my favorite moments of the year – Sam is immensely readable, meaning he is the kind of gifted orator who knows the value of a pithy quote, yet he can also ramble on in profound multi-page diatribes. Esquire profiled Sam early one morning after he and a group of buddies went golfing at, like, dawn. Apparently, Sam just sat in the golf club, dropping f-bombs and n-words while white folks looked sheepish. The whole piece is absolutely worth your time – go here to read it. Some highlights:
His childhood dream: “We looked at movies and went home and redid the movies. We pretended to be whatever we had seen that day. But I wanted to be a marine biologist. I wanted to be the black Jacques Cousteau, because I loved 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.. And I loved all those pirate movies. I wanted to be on a boat out in the ocean. I always thought the inner space was a lot more interesting than outer space.
Whether he ever feels angry about segregation: “I don’t think I was ever angry about it. I’m angrier now about it than I was then just because I see these guys and I know these are the same guys: Trump and all those a–holes, Mitch McConnell. But they’re the same f–king guys. And when I hear their voices, I hear the same voices…There was no doubt about where they stood, that you were never going to be their equal and, if possible, they were going to make sure you never had as much s–t as they had. And they were worried about the chasteness of their women, and miscegenation, and not having enough of them, there being more of us than there are of them.
On doing seven movies a year: “I’ve never understood that whole “I want to do two movies a year” thing. It’s like, you don’t love the job? I want to get up and act every day. And there’s a limited number of acting possibilities in everybody’s lifetime. So I’m trying to maximize my sh-t.
Whether he was concerned about making “quality movies”: “What’s a quality movie? What the f–k is that? Quality movies are movies that make me happy, a movie I would’ve gone to see. I’m not trying to make people cry. I’m not trying to do the profound-storytelling thing. I was entertaining. I used to go to movies to forget my f–king troubles. I used to go to movies to enjoy myself, to get out of my segregated f–king life, to see what the world was like, to travel. I want people to come, smile, laugh, leave that movie going, “Man, that was awesome.”
Whether he’s still the same radical guy he was in the ‘60s: “I’m the same cat. I still got my politics. I still have my anger. But I can’t regulate a bank. I can’t deregulate a bank. I can’t do any of that. It’s been a great revenue stream right now. And because I have that revenue, we’re able to have our names on the f–king wall of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. We’re able to give money to the Children’s Defense Fund. We’re able to dig a well in Africa. But I don’t run around with a film crew and say, “Show everybody what I’m doing.” I just do what I do. It’s not like we’re just building up a stack of cash somewhere for whatever’s going to happen.”
On dissing Donald Trump on Twitter: “This motherf–ker is like ruining the planet and all kinds of other crazy sh-t. And the people think that’s okay. It’s not f–king okay. And if you’re not saying anything, then you’re complicit. And I wouldn’t give a f–k if I was a garbageman and I had a Twitter account; I’d tweet that sh-t out. I’m not thinking about who I am and what my job is when I do that sh-t.
Whether he cares about antagonizing the MAGA crowd: “I know how many motherf–kers hate me. “I’m never going to see a Sam Jackson movie again.” F–ck I care? If you never went to another movie I did in my life, I’m not going to lose any money. I already cashed that check. F–k you. Burn up my videotapes. I don’t give a f–k. “You’re an actor. Stick to acting.” “No, motherf–ker. I’m a human being that feels a certain way.” And some of this sh-t does affect me, because if we don’t have health care, sh-t, and my relatives get sick, they’re going to call my rich ass. I want them to have health care. I want them to be able to take care of themselves. This is how I feel.
When he’ll quit acting: “Till I can’t do it. Michael Caine’s still acting, right? It’s acting. It’s not like I’m digging a ditch. I go on set, do some sh-t. I go back and sit in my trailer for two hours watching TV, eat a sandwich, read. And I go back and do ten more minutes and go sit down some more. So, yeah, it’s a great job.
I don’t have any tattoos, but I’d love to get this one etched on my body: “I know how many motherf–kers hate me. “I’m never going to see a Sam Jackson movie again.” F–ck I care?” There’s tons of other stuff in there, like Sam defending Quentin Tarantino’s use (overuse) of the n-word (again) in his scripts, and how pissed off he is about all of the people who hated Barack Obama, and so much stuff about his college years and growing up in the segregated South. It’s a great piece and Sam is a national treasure.
Photos courtesy of Esquire’s Instagram.