No one’s doing it like Samuel L. Jackson, and that’s that. The 71-year-old actor has played (and continues to play) a key role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, he has starred in numerous films by Quentin Tarantino, and that only scratches the surface of what he has done throughout his career. His resume nears 200 acting credits, three of which were Star Wars movies, yet he says it “disturbs” him to hear the word “legend” being thrown around alongside his name.
Samuel L. Jackson was recently awarded the Savannah Film Festival’s 2020's Legend of Cinema Award. When he was congratulated by EW’s Sarah Rodman during their interview, the actor started a conversation about the definition of a “legend.” In his words:
Legends are people who accomplish things that can’t be accomplished by other people, or did something that’s super extraordinary. I just persevered through hard work and doggedness to get where I am.
Hmm… we are prepared to disagree, but the humbleness is appreciated. The actor characterized a “legend” as someone who accomplished something especially extraordinary that no one else could do. Let’s say, such as Martin Luther King Jr, Mahatma Gandhi or Albert Einstein. There are many ways to categorize a legend, and in each field has its own, but in terms of Hollywood, Samuel L. Jackson definitely has the right elements to make the short list.
One extraordinary element about Sam L. Jackson’s career is that he gained prominence in his 40s with films such as Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing, Jurassic Park, Pulp Fiction and Die Hard with a Vengeance. And since the 1990s, his career has only flourished. The actor has transcended his roles and become an instantly recognizable figure in the industry that has changed the industry for the better. He attributes his status in Hollywood as the product of hard work and endurance, but isn’t that one of the necessary traits of a legend?
Plus, he just makes it look easy. Samuel L. Jackson couldn’t have had an easy road to his success, consistently being referred to as the highest-grossing actor of all time, topping $10 billion combined. I assure you, 100 years from now, Jackson will make it in the history books as one of the most legendary actors thanks to his body of work and what his roles mean to pop culture of the time.
The actor will reportedly forward his career with a Nick Fury-focused Disney+ show, he’ll share the screen with Chris Rock on the Saw spinoff Spiral coming in May and reprise his Hitman’s Bodyguard role with Ryan Reynolds with a sequel alongside Salma Hayek in August 2021. Check out what else is coming next year with CinemaBlend’s 2021 release schedule.