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Samuel L. Jackson has been known by too many iconic names on the big screen to count between his six roles with Quentin Tarantino, time as Jedi Mace Windu in the Star Wars prequels, Frozone in Incredibles, MCU regular, Nick Fury. We all have our favorite Jackson moment, but there is one so astonishing that even the actor himself can’t argue against. When asked about his favorite scene, here’s what he said:
I guess it would be actually the ultimate scene that everybody turns out to love so much, and it’s the diner scene in Pulp Fiction. Everybody loved the killing ones, but the diner scene, just because there’s so much going on when John [Travolta] and I are sitting there having that conversation prior to what happened, and the bullets not killing us, and he’s making this decision about walking the earth just to see what’s going on. So by the time Tim [Roth] gets there and I have an opportunity to do that speech again, the same speech that I’ve been killing people with, and make it make sense in a whole ’nother kind of way, and, one, it’s just the biggest threat you’ve ever heard in your life. And the next, the dude’s like sitting there making a revelation about who he is and where his place is in the world, and who he actually is. He said, ‘I’d love to be the shepherd, and that would be great.’ They said that they didn’t know how the movie was supposed to end until I did that scene. But they had no idea that that’s what all that shit meant until I did it.
I mean there’s really no other answer. That closing scene in Pulp Fiction is classic and showcases the 70-year-old actor's best work. In the 1994 Tarantino film, Samuel L. Jackson plays Jules Winnfield, a contract killer who has memorized the Bible passage Ezekiel 25:17 and recites it to his targets before killing them.
After surviving a couple hundred bullets flying at him and John Travolta’s Vincent Vega, Jules tells Vincent that he takes their survival as a sign for him to turn away from his life of crime, just before a couple of robbers stick up the diner and Jules is faced with another excuse to recite his iconic speech. This time it goes a little bit differently and finds a much deeper meaning. Check it out:
It’s good every time! It’s no wonder Samuel L. Jackson brought up this scene as the favorite of his during a recent interview with Esquire. As he tells the magazine, the speech gives the audience meaning to the lines he says throughout the movie along with the character, as Jules breaks it down for Tim Roth’s character, changes his ways and doesn’t pull the trigger. Jackson also points out that his performance in the scene informed the filmmakers about how they were going to end Pulp Fiction and it really wraps up the film perfectly.
The scene has stuck with the actor so much that he once recited the lines from the passage word-for-word on The Graham Norton Show from memory and it was incredible. It’s clear the iconic role has stuck with Samuel L. Jackson just as much as it has for audiences. Pulp Fiction is regarded as one of the best films ever made and Jackson undoubtedly contributed to its status.
Samuel L. Jackson is certainly one of the most prolific and influential actors of our time at 70 years old and he is still hard at work, making movies. He currently stars in Captain Marvel in his biggest performance as Nick Fury yet. Much like Pulp Fiction, the Marvel film is set in the ‘90s and the filmmakers couldn’t even help but sprinkle in some references to it.