Over the years, there have been plenty of iconic actors who, shockingly, haven’t received recognition from the Academy Awards – one of them being Samuel L. Jackson. However, in a recent interview, the big Hollywood star, who has appeared in over 150 films so far, has revealed that he isn’t bothered about the shiny award as opposed to actually getting “asses in seats”.
Speaking with The Times, after discussing his Honorary Oscar this year for the 94th Academy Awards, Jackson explained his feelings and past experiences with the famed cinematic voting body. In 1995 the star’s performance in Quentin Tarantino’s thriller movie Pulp Fiction got him nominated for Best Supporting Actor. However, he didn’t manage to take the accolade home.
Jackson shared how he believed he should’ve been nominated for his work in the 1991 Spike Lee movie Jungle Fever as well, and commented on how surprising it was to see two cast members of the action movie Bugsy get the recognition instead. But, the actor clarified that he doesn’t need an award to speak towards his successes at the end of the day, as box-office figures and public support are enough.
“My wife and I went to see Bugsy. Damn! They got nominated, and I didn’t? I guess Black folk usually win for doing despicable shit on screen. Like Denzel [Washington] for being a horrible cop in Training Day. All the great stuff he did in uplifting roles like Malcolm X? No — we’ll give it to this motherfucker,” Jackson said. “So maybe I should have won one. But Oscars don’t move the comma on your cheque — it’s about getting asses in seats, and I’ve done a good job of doing that.”
Jackson went on to point out how the Oscars should celebrate high box-office earners more, pointing towards the MCU movie Spider-Man: No Way Home as an example, which has grossed over $1.8 billion worldwide.
“All movies are valid,” Jackson explained. “Some go to the cinema to be moved dearly. Some like superheroes. If somebody has more butts on seats, it just means your audience is not as broad. There are people who have had successful careers, but nobody can recite one line of their parts. I’m the guy who says shit that’s on a T-shirt.”
Jackson received his Honorary Oscar at the 2022 Governors Awards on March 25, 2022.