How Samuel L. Jackson Became His Own Genre
Photo: The New York Times
It wasn’t a bad life with his fellow actors Denzel Washington, Laurence Fishburne, Morgan Freeman and Wesley Snipes. They went to auditions together, and if one didn’t get a part, he recommended his friends. They went to the unemployment office together, partied together, pooled their money, fed one another, spent Christmases together, appeared in plays together. Jackson did “A Soldier’s Story” with Washington and was Freeman’s understudy in “Mother Courage” at the Public. Freeman, 10 years older and wiser, told him once: “I don’t know why you’re working so hard, boy. You got it. Just don’t quit.” When I called Freeman to ask why Jackson got his call to Hollywood so late in his career, Freeman said: “He got it earlier than me. Others went to Hollywood on their own. My agent told me, ‘If they want you, they’ll call you.’ ” The Jackson he knew, Freeman said, “was not cool like Jules — Sam was earnest.”
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