Taking it up a notch
> Hollywood veteran Samuel L. Jackson feels that the big screen needs to up its game to keep pace with TV’s creative landscape
Jackson is currently starring in Tim Burton’s new film Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children as the nefarious but comedic villain, Barron.
He says he enjoyed working with the director for the first time, finding him “very enthusiastic and very open to my creative suggestions”.
Jackson sometimes makes up to five films a year. I ask him what he’s looking for when he’s handed scripts.
“I particularly want a good story, a story I want to be a part of and a story I want to tell and think I can make richer for an audience,” he says.
“Sometimes, it’s as simple as choosing a role that’s part of something like what I would want to go and see when I was a kid.”
This would make sense with regard to the family-friendly Burton film and a few other projects he has lined up: Kong: Skull Island and xXx: Return of Xander Cage.
The actor may be an incredibly hard worker, something he thinks is born out of his beginnings in the struggling theatre world, where you’re always hungry for the next job, but he still finds time to relax.
I ask him to debunk the rumour that he has a clause in all his film contracts allowing him to play golf during shoots, but it turns out it’s real.
“It’s still part of my, what’s known as a perk package, things that you’ve asked for – being able to play golf twice a week and they pay for it.”
It also includes a multi-region DVD player because he watches a lot of Asian films, and occasionally video games.
Miss Peregrine’s is all about children with ‘peculiarities’, in this case, magical ones, but what’s his?
“I always used to think my peculiarity was that I stuttered, ’cause I stuttered badly when I was a kid and people tend to make fun of you because you’re not like them.
“This is a story about embracing your peculiarities and rejoicing in them, learning how to be normal in a world that considers you as abnormal.” –
(right) Jackson … embracing being an actor in such films as (clockwise, from left) Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children; the upcoming Kong: Skull Island; xXx: Return of Xander Cage, as well as open to interesting television roles.