Samuel L. Jackson’s career trajectory isn’t one to play with.
From “Snakes On A Plane” to “Shaft,” “Pulp Fiction,” and more, Jackson’s portfolio speaks for itself.
During an interview with Vulture, the Washington, D.C. native opened up about his introduction to Hollywood through the 1991 film, “Jungle Fever.” The production brought him the first supporting actor award presented by the Cannes Film Festival judges.
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Advocating For Himself
What’s more, despite renowned filmmaker Spike Lee playing a pivotal role in helping Jackson launch his film career, the 74-year-old actor revealed he wasn’t a part of another popular Lee film due to a disagreement with the salary.
In the interview, Jackson revealed the two “fell out” over “Malcolm X,” the 1992 biopic about the late human rights activist, in which Denzel Washington played the lead.
“I actually read with the people who auditioned for ‘Malcolm X,’” Jackson recalled. “I was supposed to be the guy that turned Malcolm X to Islam in prison. I forget who played that role. But I was still down to that Spike Lee scale-plus-10 salary thing. I was like, ‘I’m not going to work for no scale-10.’”
What Is Scale-Plus-10
Per the report, scale-plus-10 is the pay rate actors can receive for their involvement in a film.
The scale includes a minimum daily or weekly pay rate determined by the Screen Actors Guild. The “10” is the 10% of the actor’s pay from the project that is to be paid to their agent.
Additionally, Jackson recalled the moment he decided to turn down the role in Lee’s “Malcolm X.”
Walking Away From 'Malcolm X'
“I used to call my agent every day to see if I had any auditions, callbacks, whatever,” said Jackson. “And my line to her every day was, ‘Hollywood call?’ She was like, ‘No, sir.’ So one day I called, she said, ‘As a matter of fact, yeah they did. You just won an award at the Cannes Film Festival.’ And I’m like, ‘What? For what? She said, ‘Jungle Fever.’ I said, ‘They don’t give supporting actor awards at Cannes,’ She’s like, ‘They made up one for you.’ ‘Get the f*ck out of here!’ And consequently, these people in Hollywood want to see you for this movie ‘White Sands.’ So I took ‘White Sands’ instead of ‘Malcolm X’ and we fell out.”
Today, Jackson is still an advocate for himself in Hollywood’s ever-evolving landscape.
Remaining True To Himself
As previously reported by AfroTech, the “Star Wars” actor has made it clear that he has no desire for his voice, image, and likeness to be used “in perpetuity” once a project has wrapped.
“Future actors should do what I always do when I get a contract, and it has the words ‘in perpetuity’ and ‘known and unknown’ on it: I cross that sh-t out,” Jackson told Rolling Stone. “It’s my way of saying, ‘No, I do not approve of this.’”
It looks like no matter what, Mr. Jackson will always remain true to himself.