The coolest actor in Hollywood talks Lakeview Terrace and Iron Man…
Respectfully labeled as one of the hardest working actors in Hollywood, Jackson is an undisputed star as demonstrated by the fact that his films have grossed more money in box office sales than any other actor in the world. In new film ‘Lakeview Terrace Samuel L. Jackson plays Los Angeles police officer Abel Turner. A single father of a teenaged daughter and preteen son, Abel is a one-man security force, ensuring that his strict standards of behaviour are adhered to, even if it means ruffling a few feathers in the process.
When learning Jackson had been cast as the tough cop, “I thought, this is exactly the guy for this part,” David Loughery, who wrote the screenplay, remembers. “He’s menacing and charming at the same time, so this character is both likable and threatening. It’s really a great performance.”
Loughery says Jackson uses humour to diffuse the sense of danger Turner cultivates. “He has an odd sense of humor and I think that’s really a great addition to the character,” says the writer. “I guess you would say he’s the villain of the piece, but he doesn’t see himself that way. He’s protecting his property and he’s doing what he thinks is right for his family and for himself.”
Most recently seen in Iron Man in a surprise cameo appearance and in the Doug Liman directed sci-fi action film, Jumper , Jackson made an indelible mark on American cinema with his portrayal of ‘Jules’, the philosophising hitman, in Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction. In addition to unanimous critical acclaim for his performance, he received Academy Award® and Golden Globe nominations as Best Supporting Actor as well as a Best Supporting Actor award from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.
This winter, in addition to Lakeview Terrace, Jackson’s films will include the Dimension Studios comedy “Soul Men” with Bernie Mac and then, Jackson will star in the Frank Miller action drama The Spirit, where he portrays the nemesis, ‘Octopus.’
How was the making of Lakeview Terrace?
Work on Lakeview was great because we got all these great people. I mean Patrick was always prepared, Kerry was always prepared. Neil had a very good understanding of what he wanted to do every day and how he wanted to do it, and he did it very efficiently. We had done the rehearsal, we had had the discussions, and we knew how we wanted to make things happen. There were times when I would look at something and go, “Um… something’s not right about this,” but there would ensue sometimes healthy discussion. Then sometimes I would go, “This is stupid,” and just kind of walk away. But that’s just me, and then I realised later on it’s kind of hard to do a movie like this and make it PG-13.
Why did you want to make this film?
I always view us a storytellers, modern-day storytellers, so I like the story first and then I find the character on the inside of it. So when somebody tells you you’re reading a story about an interracial couple moving into a neighbourhood and a racist cop next door, well, okay, you immediately think well, I’m part of the interracial couple moving in next door. Then when I started to read it I said, “Oh, I kind of like this guy, you know, so is it possible for me to do that?” and they’re like, “Well yeah. Sure.” So it was kind of rewritten in another way to kind of make me fit into that space.
You make a LOT of movies – ever see yourself retiring?
Retiring from what? There’s no reason to – I’m going to be the black Michael Caine.
Do you sneak into your own movies with the public?
Oh, all the time.
Ever get spotted?
Oh sure, yeah. I don’t go disguised; I just go sit at the back of the theatre.
Are you often surprised by the reaction?
Sometimes you expect them to be disappointed, sometimes you expect them to be a little confused. Even the difference between a premiere audience and a paying audience is night and day.
In what way?
People who come to a premiere want to fellate you in a certain kind of way.Your name comes on screen and they start cheering and they laugh at everything. It’s such a false gauge for what the movie’s going to do. You’ve got to go and watch with real people.