8 Questions with Samuel L Jackson

His movies have grossed more at the box-office than any other actor in history. He’s 67 and as he puts it “retirement is not an option” and he’s just plain f&*king cool.
We fired our best eight questions at SLJ to mark the home entertainment release of The Hateful Eight:

1. You’ve worked with Quentin six times now, are you guys mates off screen too?
Samuel: Yes, we hang out from time to time, I’ll run by his house and watch a movie. We stay in touch and send each other movies which we think might interest the other. But I work so much it’s sometimes difficult to see each other regularly. 

2. There were fears that there wouldn’t be enough snow in Telluride, Colorado, to film the blizzard scenes for The Hateful Eight and some of the cast participated in a “ski burn” to help bring about some snowfall. Did you take part?
Samuel: Yes, it’s a tradition they have where everybody takes their skis and they say something and they throw it in the bonfire. I didn’t throw my own skis in! They have a bunch of old skis lying around and you just grab a pair and throw them in. And then it snowed the next day.

3. So there’s no cell-phones allowed on a Tarantino set?

Samuel: That’s correct. There’s a big sign saying “no cell phones” and there’s a person who collects your phone at the checkpoint, and there’s a drawer with everyone’s name on, and you get your phone back at the end of the day. When we were in Telluride, the checkpoint was about two miles away from the set so you were a long way from your phone. I think it’s a good idea because it means you talk to the people that you’re working with because usually people are so distracted by their phones, whereas with Quentin you stay in the process and become a lot more focused on what’s going on.  

4. What makes a Quentin Tarantino set different to any other film?
Samuel: There’s a lot of collaboration that goes on in the rehearsal process. He likes to see what you’re going to do with the character and he likes to hear his words and to see how the characters are going to interact with each other. You can talk to him about your character and discuss any personality traits you’re interested in developing.  He really allows you to grow the character, and will even write extra lines for you. These are all things that don’t usually happen on other films. 

5. Do you have any survival skills that would equip you to be a post civil war soldier? Can you pluck a chicken or skin a rabbit? 
Samuel: I can do all those things. I can also build a fire, ride a horse and shoot guns pretty well.

6. Quentin, once again, comes under fire for his liberal use of the “nigger” word in The Hateful Eight. Spike Lee usually has something to say about this. What are your own views?
Samuel: Well, I’m also in Spike Lee’s Chi-Raq and “nigger” is used pretty freely in both those movies so I don’t think you’ll hear a whole bunch of noise this time. 

7. We see many actors who also write and direct. Do you have any plans of your own to direct?
Samuel: I don’t view what I do as a natural progression into that. You either want to do that or you don’t. I don’t want to be in control in that way. I’m not a real fan of putting puzzles together and I think that’s what making a movie is all about. 

8. Are there any challenges left for you? 
Samuel: I still want to do a really good horror movie. I love horror movies. I’ve had a conversation with Eli Roth and we’ll see what happens.

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