31 January 2013

How Samuel L. Jackson Nearly Killed Everyone on Pulp Fiction


In a riveting Vanity Fair piece about the making of Pulp Fiction, there is an alternate universe look at a world where Samuel L. Jackson almost didn't play Jules Winnfield:

"The role of Jules Winnfield proved difficult to cast, mainly because Samuel L. Jackson was under the impression the part was his, until he found out he was in danger of losing the role to Paul Calderon. Jackson flew out to L.A. for a last-ditch audition with Tarantino. “I sort of was angry, pissed, tired,” Jackson recalls. He was also hungry, so he bought a takeout burger on his way to the studio, only to find nobody there to greet him. “When they came back, a line producer or somebody who was with them said, ‘I love your work, Mr. Fishburne,’” says Jackson. “It was like a slow burn. He doesn’t know who I am? I was kind of like, Fuck it. At that point I really didn’t care.”

"Gladstein remembers Jackson’s audition: 'In comes Sam with a burger in his hand and a drink in the other hand and stinking like fast food. Me and Quentin and Lawrence were sitting on the couch, and he walked in and just started sipping that shake and biting that burger and looking at all of us. I was scared shitless. I thought that this guy was going to shoot a gun right through my head. His eyes were popping out of his head. And he just stole the part.” Lawrence Bender adds, “He was the guy you see in the movie. He said, ‘Do you think you’re going to give this part to somebody else? I’m going to blow you motherfuckers away."

It's hard to imagine anyone but Samuel L. Jackson delivering the Ezekiel 25:17 speech. Everything about Jules is hardwired into Samuel L. Jackson's performance. A wise choice for Bender and Tarantino to cast him.

Still, it was good to see that Samuel L. Jackson took everything in stride even as far back as 1994. Fun guy, that Mr. Jackson. I hope he never finds out I'm the guy that scratched his Mercedes a few years ago...