Despite starring in more than 150 movies in a career that spans six decades the Academy hasn’t been particularly generous to Samuel L. Jackson. Now, he did receive a Best Supporting Actor nomination for playing Jules Winnfield in Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction, but a nomination isn’t a statue.
Jackson also received an honorary award for being “a cultural icon whose dynamic work has resonated across genres and generations and audiences worldwide”. Still, he’s yet to be recognised fully by the Academy for his skill as an actor. While Jackson’s been very open about not chasing statues, he does think he came close once when he played Leonardo DiCaprio’s evil head house slave Stephen Warren in Django Unchained.
Everything I’ve done for Quentin has a moment that’s given me an opportunity, from Jackie Brown to The Hateful Eight to Django [Unchained],” Jackson told Variety. “Django was probably my best shot [at an Oscar] because it’s the most evil character I’ve ever played and they generally reward Black people for playing horrendous shit.”
Jackson has previously said he’s more interested in having fun – playing the MCU’s Nick Fury or Mace Windu in Star Wars – than earning accolades. “I was never going to let the Oscars be a measure of my success or failure as an actor,” he told Variety. “My yardstick of success is my happiness: Am I satisfied with what I’m doing? I’m not doing statue-chasing movies.”
If there’s one thing Jackson does like about the Oscars, though, it’s being a presenter because then he gets a gift basket. “I always have fun going to the Oscars,” he explained. “I always look forward to getting a gift basket for being a presenter. [Laughs] I give stuff to my relatives; my daughter and my wife would take stuff out. It’s cool…But otherwise, I was past it.”
If you love the work of Samuel L. Jackson, then check out our feature on the MCU movies ranked.