Samuel L. Jackson Discusses His Favorite 'Pulp Fiction' Scene, Quentin Tarantino's Use Of The N-Word In 'Django Unchained' & More
He also talks about why he loves his role as Stephen in Django Unchained.
Samuel L. Jackson sat down with Esquire where the actor talked about everything from growing up in segregation and overcoming drug addiction to his favorite Pulp Fiction scene.
In regards to growing up in segregation, Jackson was asked if he ever felt angry about it.
“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 assholes, Mitch McConnell. But they’re the same fucking guys,” the actor said. “…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 shit 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.”
As for Jackson’s favorite scene from Pulp Fiction, the Quentin Tarantino-directed film where Jackson portrays Jules Winnfield, it’s not really that surprising.
“I guess it would be actually the ultimate scene that everybody turns out to love so much, and it’s the diner scene in Pulp Fiction. Everybody loved the killing ones, but the diner scene, just because there’s so much going on when John [Travolta] and I are sitting there having that conversation prior to what happened, and the bullets not killing us, and he’s making this decision about walking the earth just to see what’s going on,” Jackson said. “So by the time Tim [Roth] gets there and I have an opportunity to do that speech again, the same speech that I’ve been killing people with, and make it make sense in a whole ‘nother kind of way, and, one, it’s just the biggest threat you’ve ever heard in your life. And the next, the dude’s like sitting there making a revelation about who he is and where his place is in the world, and who he actually is. He said, ‘I’d love to be the shepherd, and that would be great.’ They said that they didn’t know how the movie was supposed to end until I did that scene. But they had no idea that that’s what all that shit meant until I did it.”
Jackson also offers a playful answer when asked why Jules or Vincent (John Travolta‘s character) wasn’t shot during their confrontation with Brett, saying: “Deus ex machina. And that motherfucker wasn’t that good a shot.”
The Captain Marvel star also spoke on why he loves his role as Stephen from Django Unchained and the controversy surrounding Tarantino’s use of the N-word in that film.
Jackson called the controversy “some bullshit” before recounting how he warned Tarantino not to say the word when they were working on Pulp Fiction.
“When we did Pulp, I warned Quentin about the whole ‘nigger storage.’ I was like, ‘Don’t say ‘nigger storage.’ He’s like, ‘No, I’m going to say it like that,'” Jackson explained. “And we tried to soften it by making his wife black, because that wasn’t originally written…But you can’t just tell a writer he can’t talk, write the words, put the words in the mouths of the people from their ethnicities, the way that they use their words. You cannot do that, because then it becomes an untruth; it’s not honest. It’s just not honest.
The interview in its entirety can be read here.