Samuel L. Jackson has been a Jedi, an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., a Pixar hero and a Menace II Society. But his greatest role, arguably, is that of Jules Winnfield in Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction. Those who remember every line of dialogue in Tarantino’s masterpiece likely can recite the passage Jules would reserve for those he was about to kill – and according to this clip (above) from The Graham Norton Show, Samuel L. Jackson remembers it word for word, as well.
Writing like that helped Pulp Fiction win its sole Oscar at the Academy Awards, though Samuel L. Jackson did receive a nod in the Best Actor in a Supporting Role category (where he lost to Martin Landau in Tim Burton’s gleefully bizarre Ed Wood). It’s fun to learn that actors hold on to memorable dialogue over time (so they can end up on YouTube). I often ask actors if there are bits and pieces of memorable screenplays that they hold on to, or if it’s "know it for that day, then quickly forget it." I guess when someone like Quentin Tarantino hands you a passage that, overnight, becomes an audible installment in Hollywood’s storied history, you are going to commit it to memory.
In the movie Pulp Fiction, it sounded like this:
Truth be told, as remarkable as that passage is, the Ezekial speech from Pulp Fiction isn’t even the first dialogue chunk I think of when I recall Samuel L. Jackson’s Pulp Fiction character. I mean, his diner speech with Tim Roth in the closing moments of the Oscar-winning film might be my favorite Jackson scene.
But yeah, the Ezekial speech is legendary. And so is Graham Norton’s show. Seriously, I got lost in a spiral of interview clips because of the way the talk show host mash-ups his guests. Like, for example, the extension of the Sam Jackson interview, which has Keira Knightley telling her "sex face" story. It’s fascinating!
Take the path of the righteous reader. Pop Pulp Fiction in at some point today. Revive the glory of Samuel L. Jackson’s speech. Then surf Graham Norton clips for the rest of your day. Go ahead. You boss won’t mind.
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Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Sean created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.
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