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Samuel L Jackson On Kicking Drugs Before His First Role, Social Media, New 'Shaft' Film + More

May 03, 2020
Breakfast Club tomorrow everyone is DJ envy Angela Yee Charlemagne to God We Are The Breakfast Club we have a special guest now you say we have a special guest in the building every day that's right today we really do have a special yes that's right

samuel

l .

jackson

you like it early

first

and foremost i get up this early every day ok actually if i'm working i definitely get up because i head to the set at 5:30 6:00 but if i'm in home I'm headed to the golf course ok that's part of your routine get up go play golf maybe that's a good life you'll never get tired of a good life I just try to make sure I keep a routine that works for me.
samuel l jackson on kicking drugs before his first role social media new shaft film more
I'm not surprised when it's time to go to work and they want me to get up and get paid to go to work at that time. yes, yes, but I didn't get up in the morning, I was just going to do the show because, even this year, you have a lot of movies. dating but between

film

ing like did you ever say you know what i'm going to get sick? Well I usually take a month off every year even though I do take a month off and I actually go on vacation on purpose mm-hmm vacation on purpose yeah you gotta tell us your routine man cause I look at you and say to myself i have something to look forward to at 70 because you look good man thanks what do you do to still be so helpful i have no idea a stress free ok you already started i got sick no i did good i lost so much weight i almost lost a job and i they said if you don't gain 15 20 pounds we have to re-shape so i went straight to shaking what else are you doing?
samuel l jackson on kicking drugs before his first role social media new shaft film more

More Interesting Facts About,

samuel l jackson on kicking drugs before his first role social media new shaft film more...

It has to be

more

than just doing pilates mm-hmm I play golf that's all how do you stay stress free? about him, but you didn't come from money, although as I was looking at you, you were born 20 years before Civil Rights, like 1960, oh yeah How different the world looked compared to man. I grew up doing, you know, doing American apartheid. I have lived in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He knew where he could go. Where I couldn't go I know all the things you look at in life and do well and then when I hear him say it, you know to make America great again.
samuel l jackson on kicking drugs before his first role social media new shaft film more
I'm going because I remember what they thought making America great again means right, everything means who needs to be you. be subverted or quiet or pushed back you know to be in charge how that didn't harden your heart though like growing up in that era and seeing our white people used to treat us well a loving community and people who make you understand you know you're a great people in theirs there is a reason they do this to you hmm you know they are trying to hold you because you are the wealth of what the world is mmm you know you offer something they have no control so you know you listen or those people who have the right teachers my whole school life was black i had no white teachers i got to

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house college so i had teachers who taught my mom and her brothers and sisters so they knew what the expectation was at home they knew people expected me to go to school university so they pushed me and talked to me in general terms and told me that I was someone or the books we had that had the pages torn out, they would tell me where I could get the info rmation for people to nurture you and I mean even kids who knew they weren't going to college who knew they were going to enter the workforce or service led those people to those places because the teachers cared because they knew to those families and it was a community of black people who took care of each other, you know, I have to remember that when it comes to my daughter because I can, I let her see something like when they see us even like a movie like Django that is about slavery, she's like why w why do people do that i never know the answer to why you know what kept you what kept you focused because your career really started when you got so much older what kept you focused all that time to be how i know this is for me i love theater and i loved acting and being here in a rich community of creative people is exhilarating we went into each other's shells we saw each other work together we auditioned s together and we talked there was no feud everyone was great together and when you are in an environment rich with creative people who share the same goals, were all trying to get somewhere or all had a different idea about how it was going to happen and there was Enough activity or enough people moving, it's like we're doing a play and all of a sudden Denzel's like he's ripped off, he's gone, he's like, okay, no TV show tonight, he's doing movies , okay, boom, he's gone, another play Morgan is ripped, boom, he's gone, he's doing street smart. and he starts doing all these other things alfre is gone wesley is gone this is gone so you know you're in the right place it's just a matter of when your time will come and not be envious or jealous about it and sometimes times like I found I realized I was on my own path so once I got clean everything changed so there's a very clear correlation of me changing my life and being focused and clear about what I needed to do and my success, so when people say good, you know yourself. everyone goes to rehab and you guys do this, you guys make it like i was a week out of rehab when i started getting jungle fever so i didnt really need makeup.
samuel l jackson on kicking drugs before his first role social media new shaft film more
I went on set and I went to the craft service desk and the fruit of Islam was security got into the table because they thought I was just some kind of he's in a movie but the correlation between my career change and the fact that it straightened me out is very clear, so when people talk about relapse and this than in others that is that as part of your recovery it's not you Now it's understanding that I never wanted anything, so as long as I understand that and I woke up every day and realized that today is another day.
I have to stay clean. I can still deal with it for 20 years. the drug of choice was right yes yes that was my drug of choice alcohol was my drug of choice the drug of choice was the drug in front of me how old was i the kick all those habits when you get tired enough you don't you do I don't have to worry about it you know all that other stuff you just let it go and melt away and let the world be what the world is and you know look at it with clear eyes they said your wife was so strong. with a nod you have to go get in shape you have to go get help right now yes i mean the day i was found passed out on the kitchen floor the next day i was in riya so you had that level of self awareness to know man i have to changing my mind my lifestyle to change my life was just something you were forced to do well she called my best friend from high school who was a drug counselor and he found a bed for me in upstate new york , so i went right in and i didn't go in

kicking

and screaming i went in i was tired and i heard what they were saying around me you know and you go through everything and you do and then work came jungle fever and you know the drug counselor well you shouldn't doing that job just plants a crackhead all your triggers are I'll be there pipes and lighters if no other reason if I never see you that was motivation enough but understanding how you feel, a clarity of vision, a purpose and what you see in I had to stand in front of me.
I mean so like an eight nine year old daughter and say hi my name is Sam I'm an addict not really but she knew she spent enough time with me you know when I was in the middle of my addiction taking her back and forth . school that's right the bus scooter in the morning and drop her off for school ol and they go or i would sit on the playground with her while she was on the slide push the swings welcome to the joint but she knew that when I left, I went to do something better when they found me lying on the ground.
It's not like that was the case by the time I came back and started hanging out with her and looking at her clear eyes and hearing her voice and her vision of what she wanted to do and daddy do this with me do that with me, TRUE? You know? Were you a crack? stealing from the house and i didn't tell tv you kicked it and then prospered and that's yeah you know you talked early about you know how to have money and succeed you still make five or six movies a year yeah what energizes you i'll give you that motivation to keep wanting to do it so much i guess it's like b every player always annoys me to hear they know good they know data they are tired because they played three games this week every day outside was hot and theater and work in movies it's like that for me it's like theater was hard i had to get up go to rehearsal go do something every night from start to finish mm-hmm three hours of a live play in front of people movies i get up im going to working a long day is three pages and yes, a 12 hour day but I have boiled it down to the amount of work I do today.
I could have worked an hour and a half mmm all those 12 hours most of the rest of the time I'm in my trailer sleeping watching Judge Judy you know watching the movie reading the book doing nothing so yeah I go to that job I go to that, Yeah, and it pays a lot better than the job I used to have. overall somewhere i normally wouldn't have gone like i just finished making a movie in croatia so you can explore that when you're not working and being a storyteller and an artist is one of those things it's a blessing there's So many acting opportunities in life and I want to take every one that comes my way. that i want to do well you know as often as i get a chance to do them you know writers get up and write painters get up and paint how serious you take me in the highest gross gross an act of all time because they say seven points a dubious honor i mean i've been in a lot of movies that people liked that were popular and i like to make popcorn movies i get to make more movies no that's what i do and i like to make movies i want to go Let's see.
I like them. I like movies full of gun violence. I like violent movies. I like our movies. I like action movies, so I'll do them. I'll do a serious movie once in a while because I want to help the writer, director, or there's someone on it I want to work with, but I'm not necessarily looking for, you know, any award-winning da da da, I'm just looking to go have fun, any Do you ever get mad at that statistic? no, like you see that number and you're like man I ain't have no it's doing good you know and sometimes you get lucky to get back in so if the movie doesn't make a lot of money you still get the bait. wow hollywood changed since it started so where are we now because we always hear about the different herbs and streams and the difficulty for people to get jobs and just inclusion and all these conversations that we're very focused on let's change drastically just for the number of platforms you have to work on in the

first

place you know when i got there everything i read had denzel's fish or forest whitaker's fingerprints you know they rejected it or they were thinking about it and they didn't think about it fast enough and i was like yeah i'll do it so i did it was always the fourth person on the call sheet that could have been you know and that's how it worked i think here i was going to work was was was was doing what i was doing but over the years for As I said the number of platforms I Netflix Hulu Apple all that the world of independent cinema there are so many jobs now and there are so many things and why the writers are young You see young directors populate their shows with the world as they saw it when they grew up, went to school with Hispanics, Asians, Blacks And, you know, whoever you meet, fill their stories with those people because that's who they were and that it's who they are so there's a lot more opportunities for people who work consequently it still comes down to a lot of times the same thing you know i used to do because i spent my time going to acting school there's a lot of people that they still go to Juilliard and these other people, but a lot of YouTube stars are getting jobs, you know?
People in the music industry just decide the next day to say actor that I can act and someone give me the opportunity to do it. Sometimes they turn out to be okay, sometimes not so much, but now there's room for everyone who surprised you to be really cool to work. on set that could have come from the world of Instagram or YouTube and you said, oh, they were actually really good. They didn't know me. and Buster was cool as what Buster was there to be but Buster was still but you know a person in the music industry you go to what we had at 6:30 calls you know you show him you do what you do and you know it's ok doing it what you know coach i can still learn new things ok yes and sometimes i don't want to work with this person again sometimes you know wow that's a very smart person i guess i never wanted to be that good you know back in the day we used to do it sorry but i think since they stopped using

film

there is a differencein the way that young filmmakers approach what they do hmm and spend a lot more time wasting because the economics of what it meant when I was shooting you had to use the film then you had to send it off to be developed and then you had to watch it. so you had to process then you had to realize now they have a chip they just rolled roll rolled roll rolled roll you end up shooting a bunch of stuff you don't need and it's a waste of a day and they kill crews, those crew members work hard, You know, and you don't want to ruin your crew, so I'm constantly trying to let them know that this is a teenage thing, you know we're the least important people here. that the guy has to get the lights right they can try to get that guy to have to pull the bulb and if you make them work themselves to death and they're tired then they're not going to do the kind of work they need to do that's going to be unsatisfying and it is and we all suffer for it what

role

did you let go? and I really like in the past that

role

if there is any no I don't mean I read a movie that didn't do what people did and you know I feel like you know I feel like I was in metric because I dodged a bullet and then his movies I left It's just that they were successful that I'm glad they were successful because I would have done it any other way but you wouldn't know it I don't think I'd have fun doing it I always always firmly believe that you only do things that are right for you I read that you almost lost your role and pulp fiction by another actor yes how do you think that would have changed the trajectory of your career? that would happen no, I mean, it already had.
I already won this award at the Cannes Film Festival for jungle fever hmm and I was getting the call at the time so I did a couple of jobs after that you know they were in between that and pulp fiction and whatever What happened with pop fiction was an Academy Award nomination that I didn't win, you know, but like I tell you, people all the time, you know very rarely does an Academy Award nomination move to come to your chair. now you put in the seats absolutely you're an actor and then you move the actor you almost lose your way to who's there oh um he's in the movie you could call yourself brother now you got kicked out of my house for a minute now why did you get kicked out from Morehouse and then how they got you back in Locke the Board of Trustees in a building hijacking they were right there they just didn't want to talk to us the Board of Trustees we asked him and we talked to him they said everything was fine so we took it off s the catwalk chains and we went down the street to the padlocked hardware store bar and I went in and chained the doors shut, well we're trying to talk about that point: no African American studies, no student engagement in the board of trustees, there's no community involvement and we were sitting right in the middle of some projects, so that was a lot of different things. here the real blah ck the board members didn't even have a real vote Wow so we were trying to turn things around yeah and they said ok we did it and then you know they did everything yeah well we get it and you guys will give them a mosquito so when they all left school they called a specific group of us and summarily kicked us out of school whatever was going on and midway through the next year my mom threatened to sue okay Wow , now you're leaving, you worked with John Singleton on the first take of the film, how did his death change?
How did the second movie change in the can? Tim was doing something else. the movie will still happen i was in croatia yes it will happen but you did a john in the chef ok no john john was busy doing his tv shows no chef tv shows the movie the character the richest character my character the job just the whole franchise yeah you know when i was young at 71 when i'm sitting ting in the theater watching the first one you know it's like it's a it's a complete revelation because i haven't been to new york yet i was in atlanta mm-hmm Harlem looked like this mystical dark dangerous sexy plz look at that and you got this guy he's cool for us pre chef the cool black person was Linc Hayes army jacket totally awesome so it was us and then Richard It changed that whole dynamic, you know, being a sex machine for all the chasing, the leather coat, the good stuff. you know the brand of tough guy to all the brothers you know hooked up in all these different places in Harlem and me my dad could definitely stop traffic and the car for such and then the era of blaxploitation started so when John came up to me. in 2007 and he's like our first black superhero he's a mythologically cool person you know set a standard for blackness so it's time you know we need one for the new generation I thought okay but if I'm in that t their riches have to be in him so they know i'm not replacing him he's still john shell so i get to create whoever i'm going to create so i had the chance to create an angry o edge here and no movie like that is complete without a great villain and thank goodness you know we had Jeffrey because in the original script Christian Bale was like the main baddie. this guy the people I need to work on this character so they worked on the people character and Jeffrey just walked in he killed him. the fan of the original exactly and now I have a son so now when it comes out we all go together it merged but I love the fact that he does that how it was with the young actress it's crazy you know why the music first thing the music connects you absent even before you saw the first one, your dad was playing that sound, absolutely, so music is always a part of our culture once it was there.
Isaac made that music is like a cemented boom, he actually gave us music that Isaac never released, he was on the set a lot Isaac Hayes jr. . so he did give us music that was never released um when they came to me and said we wanted to do another axis but we wanted to do it as a comedy you know we can't take mythology and turn it into a before well you know we can find a way to do some humor here and then they said we'll bring your son your son who grew up in the suburbs he doesn't know anything about it but he has to come to you for help so when he gets there you have to teach him what it means to be a hub in Harlem and he's fine we can do some hair so we can get some exercise and Jesse is a good guy.
I like Jesse. I used to watch this tv show. Survivor's remorse, yes. so I auditioned for a lot of kids, he was the one that stood out and there's a very interesting contrast and a very good dynamic between him and me. It works very well. We have great chemistry together and Regina plays her mother. Hall, let me ask you about Harlem today, because this is the lynchpin of 2019, so what kind of world is it? They play Harlem today because it's different than Harlem was even 20 years ago well if you look at ours you can't really tell that mhm it looks like when I lived there and you know back in the 70's it's funny because the first day that we stopped for work in Harlem the first eight people we saw a pretty white out there to see ya know and the culture change I guess yeah you see the sense of juice yeah that's korean and i lived 143 me Amsterdam Broadway to see him or to be able to walk from my house to 125th street and walk up and down 125th street, I mean, sir, you know, selling contraband you know I was used to walking up and down the street, what about

social

media

?
Modern technology on this axis. He's the kid who understands that other than my analog like that necessarily understands that that's part of the generation gap that we use in the movie to create humans. how he can show me something I just didn't know and you know there are some who are not peaceful. You also know that there is a joke about this organization called Brother's Watching Brothers. It's funny how much of the movie unfolds. shopping in atlanta has to be a lot of fun translating real life for you as far as

social

media

goes so it has to be culture shock for you in many ways sam

jackson

or josh l you in real life i imagine always amazing people he's always going with someone else he's doing this no it's me sometimes I disappear and you know but what happens when you go on your missions and they talk to you like crazy about something that interacts how you are as a father and husband because you are the king of the cuss you will cuss and you would like that as a parent and i never talk baby talk to my daughter i only talk to her yeah no googoo gaga you're not supposed to do that. talk to yes, i heard her, you know sa and you to her friends when she was little look you can tell your friends like that you can't tell the wrong people like that it's ok you ask them what they did and you like it yes they my wife tells the story that in reality I went to a friend of ours' wedding in Detroit and this lady was pregnant with Zoey and she said, honey, you want some friends to dump her, but yeah, but we never talked to her.
She went to the theater yes all the time when she was little we had to go to work so we take her to the theater she hangs out with the stage manager she goes backstage collects valuables talks to all the actors hangs out with he so she's a cool girl she's still a cool girl the kids have good jobs your good work ethic she produces shows like Top Chef and Top Chef Masters oh not only she did last season's Project Runway No would you go back to Broadway? I know your wife is there now, would you come back? plays I like the live audience you know I mean nothing beats the Sounds good you know I mean go check your house it's cool but it's not like I see them yeah but I love the applause , I love going to the theater, so I'm thinking about it.
I'm just waiting for the right thing to come along, yeah, you've been married, man, 38 years, right, how long that kind of longevity in America. I guess like my wife says you have to have some need you understand when you're in a bad place there's a way to work it out mm-hmm it's easier to walk away but to create a strong relationship you have to work things out sometimes you know and just you do and i guess sometimes we're lucky enough that there's a problem that i have to get on location or she goes to work somewhere and it gets us down you know think about it let it breathe and you can look at it and sometimes just you gotta say you're sorry when you're not yeah yeah yeah and you gotta own it own that you know oh no sorry you know and let it go and keep moving all yeah it's national day black men who don't cheat well national black men day black no makeup is to change the narrative thats right men dont cheat only today ok for window the fateful treatment Black mental, we're celebrating, I've been married 18 years even marry hi him yes you yes you yes it's ok to have me hard to be faithful all these years especially being a Hollywood the divorce rate is the same everywhere yes as Chris Rock said a man is only faithful when his choice stars he has many more options so for the doctors that's true too the professional tennis players the golfers the racing drivers the guy who works at the cell phone store the manager the phones so keep me easy it's hard for you to be faithful I guess it's easy, It's ok I'm an only child so I feel very comfortable with myself I like to be alone so I know how to entertain myself Once sober it was easier for me to be comfortable with myself I didn't need to validate my existence with other people other things or substances or compliments from the people i am ean when i was using and started to get a bit famous.
I used to like running a hotel just look at how many people recognize you trying to boost the ego seeing what it meant because I could be with people who were in movies with me and they had a bigger role in people oh my gosh you were amazing and I could be stand up and not even know he was right dammit so it's easier not to fall prey to what people tell you about yourself. the praise for what it is to understand that it's okay if I do this it's going to be more trouble than it's worth that's true you know a moment of instant gratification isn't valid like the relationships I have you know the story I have I've created with someone and that's exactly why black men don't, but there's probably no way exactly.
I'm just saying it's reality. I don't imagine that because I feel like everyone in all genres. no matter how old you know who you are durable enough you know at one point i belong to this group of artists from New South Africa and we went to we identified these children whose parents had died of AIDS in this village and we built a kind of nursery center we went out there they had no idea we were Wow, you know because they don't have electricity so no TVs, no movies, nothing, we're just these people who did something, you know, and helped them.
I was in Tiananmen Square.walk around beijing mm-hmm pretty free i really think in beijing you would know everyone it depends on which part of the city but there are specific parts of the city or country where people don't have movie theaters and they don't have no they're only allowed to see about ten American movies in the country a year, so it's very different, you know? There are times when it gets frustrating for you to date and whenever you like people, a lot of people know who you are obviously to date and they know you're going to have to. deal with it, do you ever like?
I don't even feel like leaving because I really don't feel like it today. No, it is something that I do not leave. I don't go or what I can and can't do like I was I was this guy long before I was a famous guy so I know how to put my headphones on and do that even if I don't have them now they know they mistook you for Laurence Fishburne when I was in KTLA, I was actually in Atlanta instead of Atlanta, he's fine in the studio that morning doing remotes and he caught me when I was frustrated enough and I was there for about an hour changing radio stations and TV stations every eight hours. minutes or whatever.
I know Sam knows better. He just caught me at a bad time. Don't let it slip away I couldn't put my book down at any point the fact that I love the fact that when you make your movies I was watching an interview where you said if they bring you something you don't like you just won't do it you won't try it we're not going to record it i'm not going to change my life because of how i feel about anything when did you get to that point was it always like this um when the first time a director told me ok we'll do it your way and we'll try it this way way and then I had to understand that I can't go to the editing room, so when they ask you to do something that's not part of your plan they're going to see what they asked you to do first because that's what they like, right?
You know? and there's a reason he's on that side of the camera and I'm on this side over and over again. I realize the hierarchy when you're a young actor, you can't do that, you go along with the show, but then when you realize it, you know when. They're throwing money away I'm not going to do that because that's not what the character would do and I have a plan to go from here to here to here to here to here and you see something they just put there kind of go just to watch movies and you go to hell with that guy who was doing this there and now he feels that way because the director had something in his head that he wanted them to do so I usually go with you guys so you have a reason for me let me do what I did, you were having a tattoo removed, i just saw it on your instagram, you said your tattoo was removed, yeah that's a fake tattoo.
It's okay they represent people I've killed and there's a big tree on the back of my head with crows flying though she takes it off every day she puts it on every day while he takes it off you talk about walking down the street i know kids tease you for the role in nick fury no you know usually their parents don't make their kids nick fury you got that role because they were already modeling the character after you in the comments yeah ultimately instance, because the writer said Mark Miller, yes, Mark Miller said it was his favorite. actor so he also did the guy in kingsman ok did you ever want to stay cool with him like he was wearing your likeness? well it was the first book i ever saw in the first comic and i called my agent and asked about it they called mar like oh yeah we plan to do these movies and we hope sam will be a part of it and that's when they know i came in and i got that 9 movie deal wow it all worked did you ever hate a character you had to play because there are characters you had to play and recount that person is like in django you know but people definitely steven had his fans yeah , dude fuss, no, a lot of people like Steve just because Steven apologizes for being mean.
Stephen is who Stephen is. and i had a gre at the time he always used that as a meme on social media now and everyone calling someone sold that means carrie show up for me so many people so mad listen i know and that's the point . I did things in his movie that's not in the movie there would really be Quinton one of these days to get him out oh my god I can't imagine I don't want people to kill you that's another case where I watched the movies like I couldn't even imagine what What he could have done was worse than what we saw.
Would you play that role in this political climate? i was like dammit i can't i really like it but i really don't like it today now say who jack has to leave in a second guys did you still enjoy as soon as you saw me you predicted someone will come up? in office right now what predictors do you have now i have predictions for next year 2020 i haven't really found the right person i'm still trying to figure out who's with the resistance who's that i don't know i'm looking for someone with a little more clout politics that more like Stacey Abrams mm -hmm so no one stands out you know and they have all the avengers on the democrat side and none yet yeah I mean it's not like I don't vote for whoever is on their side Yeah, I just hope there's a credible person out there who can ignite young people and encourage them to come out and be a part of the political process again and understand that they know they have to claim it even if they don't like the people who are doing it right now. do something to reclaim it talk to the people you think are smart enough or the people who are angry enough to come in and work to make this a better place because i'm not going to be here very long i understand and i knew but i didn't I want to leave a place where my daughter and even you have to struggle with it, you don't care about your welfare or the planet, do you think that not only won't you care about the people, you don't care about the place, can the government really do anything? for black and brown people they can Jamie yeah universal health care is a thing yeah you know if they finally get it and allow people to get healthy and be healthy and Social Security you know people worked their whole lives , you know, man, give him the money they put it there that's what I've even yelled about the same thing for years yeah we have and just because, the same people who want to regulate women's bodies, you know, because they don't even I think less of you, you know all the women. bodies because they don't care if they still have a bush that's why I don't like them saying they won't be here because they're seventy but all about Joe Biden 74 I should vote for him it may not be here because you should vote for him yes there is no other because there is no other option, but you are right, you want someone who is vibrant.
I mean, everyone probably will. We would have been happy if Barack had another turn. you'll join us i know you have to go come to america you're going to rob prince i went into this are you in this? ask them i was wondering about you know coming to america i was like do i own my dolls now? oh no maybe you just got out of jail and you're going to rob them again he might reform like he reformed and actually had a business now and you know he had the life of him yeah

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