Samuel L. Jackson opens up about his role in ‘The Hateful Eight,’ and what it’s like working with director Quentin Tarantino for the sixth time. He also shares details on the making of the critically acclaimed Western which sees him portraying a bounty hunter.
Yes, Samuel L. Jackson has been cast in no less than six of Quintin Tarantino’s movies, dating all the way back to the breakthrough ‘Pulp Fiction’ of the mid-1990s. And in recent memory, he appeared in ‘Django Unchained,’ which saw him portraying a controversial character, a loyal house slave, in a movie, itself as polarizing as it was in its depiction of slavery even as it was critically acclaimed, clocking in at a respectable 75 percent favorable reviews, according to Rotten Tomatoes.
This time around, in ‘The Hateful Eight’ Jackson is a bounty hunter, and a central character in the Western which was shot in 70mm. As is typical of a Tarrantino movie, the violence and the language are off the charts and his character, as seen in trailers is clearly in the Samuel L. Jackson-Quentin Tarantino wheelhouse.
In an interview with The Wrap, Jackson was asked about being one of the actors whom Tarantino has cast multiple times — others mentioned are Tim Roth and Christoph Waltz – and what he thinks it takes to be one of the “right guys” for these movies.
Jackson candidly replied, “Don’t know!” Lumping himself with the other players, he went on to say, “We all have very good linguistic skills. We all create characters that are individual and unique to every story he’s written — they’re not the same guy.”
Continuing, he added, “And we also bring a level of professionalism and confidence to what’s going on that kind of makes the other people want to step their game up a little bit when they’re new to the Tarantino world. We are the constant — we’re the base flavor for that bouillabaisse he makes, we’re the tomato consommé or whatever.”
Asked what distinguishes Tarantino films from others, Samuel L. Jackson said, “The majority of films we do are one-third dialogue and two-thirds ‘go here, go there, jump over that.’ Quentin’s films are two-thirds dialogue and one-third that other stuff. And in other films, we don’t have the luxury of rehearsal like we do here. We rehearse Quentin’s films three, four weeks ahead of time.”
He went on to discuss the rehearsal process in ‘The Hateful Eight,’ and said, “We were around a table for three or four days reading, and before we knew it they’d set up Minnie’s Haberdashery in the studio. All the props were in there, the table, the chairs, everything was there. So we got to rehearse that stuff and experiment with how we feel about it.”
Much has been made over Tarantino’s decision to shoot the movie in 70mm, in part because it is an unusual format these days, and typically is associated with sweeping panoramas. In ‘The Hateful Eight,’ much of the action takes place in a single location.
Jackson was asked if the film being shot in 70mm made a difference and he said, “The scope of the room was so big, and the scope of the camera. You know that even when you think you’re not on camera, you have to figure out things to do in this room, because they can still see you and somebody in the movie theater might be watching you over here. You have to start finding a life in that room. So that’s what we did.”
Any Quentin Tarantino movie is bound to draw notice, and this in particular not just for the usual controversy over violent content, and profane language, but also because, after the script notoriously leaked online, Tarantino initially decided not to make the movie. Jackson discusses all of this and much more in the interview which you can see in its entirety here. You can see ‘The Hateful Eight’ trailer below.
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