Actors frequently get praised when they play characters that are viewed as being especially distant from who the actor really is as a person. But when it comes to Samuel L. Jackson, it seems most fans love to see him play roles that, from all appearances, are very much like the person that he actually is. And a brand new story from Jackson's Kong: Skull Island co-star just enforces the idea that everything you've heard about Samuel L. Jackson is true.
Eugene Cordero played the roles of Reles in Kong: Skull Island and in a recent interview with People (via KCTV), Cordero talked about the experience of filming the giant monster movie with Samuel L. Jackson. He specifically mentioned one scene in which Johnson was supposed to grab Cordero, and it seems that, while Johnson was overall, a very nice guy, when it came time for Johnson's moment to look menacing, he went the extra mile. According to Cordero...
He was so nice and so welcoming to me. There’s a scene where [Samuel L. Jackson] grabs me by the scruff of my shirt. And he looks at me and when he does that he asked for an extra apple box, so he looks that much taller than me. So, he’s looking down at me even more. And I’m like, ‘Oh, that’s genius.’ I’m like, ‘Wait, you’re asking for another apple box?’ He goes ‘Motherfucker I gotta be huge!’
Samuel L. Jackson plays Colonel Preston Packard in Kong: Skull Island. He's essentially the story's Ahab, obsessed with the massive ape that has caused so much destruction. Eugene Cordero plays one of the soldiers on board the helicopters that fly to the island get destroyed by Kong.
It's far from uncommon for actors to end up using boxes or other objects in scenes, but frequently, it's because they're trying to make one actor not appear too short. It's potentially important when it comes to framing the shot as well as useful to making your action hero look taller, and therefore more menacing. However, in Kong: Skull Island the movie wanted Samuel L. Jackson to look bigger than he was, but Jackson decided he needed to look even bigger than that.
None of this sounds out of character for the public persona that Samuel L. Jackson puts forward. He seems like somebody who would be warm and welcoming most of the time, but when it comes to the point where he needs to be a badass, he's going to go the extra mile.
It wasn't enough to save him in Kong: Skull Island, of course. Almost everybody ends up dead at the end of that one. Of course, even his death is sort of badass, because of course it is.