Sitting down for an interview with SiriusXM on Thursday, actress Pam Grier said Samuel L. Jackson often ad-libbed the N-word when he starred in Quentin Tarantino’s films. Grier, who starred in Tarantino’s 1997 film Jackie Brown, said the director was often caught off guard when Jackson used the N-word.
“That was Sam’s acting craft doing it,” Grier told host Bevy Smith on SiriusXM. “So — and people brought that up. And Quentin says, ‘I don’t know why they do it. I didn’t do it.’ And Sam said, ‘No, I did it. I said it.’”
Jackson has acted in several of Tarantino’s films, including Pulp Fiction and Jackie Brown. The actor’s use of the N-word, Grier said, informs the characters he’s portraying.
“Because his character should say that many times,” Grier said. “’My n***a, my, come on now.’ You know, that’s an endearment. That’s that jargon. That’s that street hustle, your tone.”
Grier vehemently defended Tarantino, who receives criticism as a white director because the N-word is heard often in his films. The actress said people are overthinking when they bash the director.
“There are people trying to find out, ‘Is there something wrong with the filmmaker?’ Where they never ask him,” she said. “And Sam did say it in articles, but people don’t read. They don’t read everything. They’re too quick to say.”
According to the New York Post, Jackson also defended Tarantino in 2017 when people labeled the director as racist.
“He [Tarantino] has enough problem being vilified himself as a racist because he uses n***a in his scripts that much, or puts those kinds of words in a character’s mouth,” Jackson said. “I always tell people … I can’t understand why they can’t look at his work and realize that every character he’s given me has pretty much been the smartest character in the film.”