No one likes jury duty—okay, I’m sure there are some of you out there, but most of us dread getting that summons in the mail and view it as a huge pain in the ass. For all the talk of doing your civic duty, it’s a chore that most of us hope and scheme to get out of any which way we can. As it turns out, being a movie actor has other perks besides fame and money and all the usual stuff: it can get you out of jury duty.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, late last week, Samuel L. Jackson was dismissed from serving on a jury when he said that the time spent in court would interfere and conflict with his work on an upcoming movie.
Jackson reportedly wrote a note to a Los Angeles Superior Court judge named Richard Fruin, stating that he will be working on a movie well into October. Though the report does not mention which project this is, considering that Jackson has north of 160 credits on his resume, it could be any number—the man likes to stay busy.
He said that not only would his own job and finances be impacted, but that his time away from the production would have a wider reach as well. Other members of the cast and crew of the film wouldn’t be able to work in his absence, thus they would also be negatively affected. That seems to indicate that, whatever film he’s working on, he has a fairly important, sizeable part.
In addition to stating his concerns, Jackson did say that serving on a jury is a "privilege," and that, when he has more time, he is keen on the idea. Talking about the other prospective jurors in his pool "were a good group of people."
Whatever argument he made, he must have been convincing (come on, he’s Samuel L. Jackson), because both the judge and the attorneys involved in the case all agreed to acquiesce to his request and dismiss him from duty.
For what it’s worth, the case Jackson caught sounds like it would have been an in depth and time consuming affair, not just a one or two day thing. A woman is suing Janssen Research & Development, a pharmaceutical company and member of the Johnson & Johnson family. She claims that her schizophrenic son died as a result of a drug study that involved Risperdal, an antipsychotic used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. There’s a big lawsuit currently in the works about aggressive marketing of the drug and it’s side effects, which include stroke and boys growing large breasts (one young man reportedly grew a 46DD bust). All in all, that sounds like that will be an intense time in court.