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.” –

The In­de­pen­dent


(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.

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