Samuel L. Jackson doesn’t care what you think, and he’s quick to tell you in this new interview with Esquire‘s Carvell Wallace.
“I know how many motherf***ers hate me. ‘I’m never going to see a Sam Jackson movie again.’ F**k I care? If you never went to another movie I did in my life, I’m not going to lose anymore. I already cashed that check. F**k you,” he said. “Burn my videotapes. I don’t give a f**k. ‘You’re an actor. Stick to acting.’ ‘No, mother f**ker. I’m a human being that feels a certain way.'”
Why is he unleashing the beast? Because he still lives from his radical activism roots, despite having made it in Hollywood. If Mo’Nique ever needs an example of how someone can live with their integrity and make it in the business, Jackson is probably one of the best examples.
The Morehouse graduate and college activist came from the segregated world of Tennessee to the top of the movie industry and still feels like his voice is necessary to affect change. Case in point: his constant outspokenness about Donald Trump.
“This motherf**ker is ruining the planet and all kinds of other crazy s**t. And the people think that’s okay. It’s not f**king okay. And if you’re not saying anything, then you’re complicit,” he said. “And I wouldn’t give a f**k if I was a garbageman and I had a Twitter account; I’d tweet that s**t out. I’m not thinking about who I am and what my job is when I do that s**t.”
But, of course, with fame comes tons of opportunities, such as working with corporations like Capital One, with which Jackson has filmed several commercials. Wallace asked him how he balances his activist leanings with working for corporations that might not have the same interests as Jackson. Jackson’s answer is a lesson in utilizing the system–and all its problems–to work for you and what you’re trying to accomplish for the greater good.
“I’m the same cat. I still got my politics. I still have my anger. But I can’t regulate a bank. I can’t deregulate a bank. I can’t do any of that. It’s been a great revenue stream right now. And because I have that revenue, we’re able to have our names on the f**king wall of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. We’re able to give money to the Children’s Defense Fund. We’re able to dig a well in Africa,” he said. “But I don’t run around with a film crew and say, ‘Show everybody what I’m doing.’ I just do what I do. It’s not like we’re just building up a stack of cash somewhere for whatever’s going to happen.
“…I’m working with corporations. And all those motherf**kers got issues. But we do what we can. We understand our responsibility,” he continued. “We understand from a revolutionary standpoint what we came from, and what’s going on in the world, and what we can do to make the world a better place or to make the world a better place for a specific group of people that need betterment in that way.”
That spirit goes into his acting, which Jackson states he does to give people the same feeling he had when he’d go to the movies as a kid. His method of helping his fans is by making them forget their troubles, not pile on more worries.
“Quality movies are movies that make me happy, a movie I would have gone to see,” he said. “I’m not trying to make people cry. I’m not trying to do the profound-storytelling thing. I was entertaining. I used to go to movies to forget my f**king troubles. I used to go to movies to enjoy myself, to get out of my segregated f**king life, to see what the world was like, to travel. I want people to come, smile, laugh, leave that movie going, ‘Man that was awesome.'”
You can read the full interview at Esquire.
Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for Disney