Samuel L. Jackson has revealed his personal top five list of Samuel L. Jackson movies. The man is, in a quantifiable way, one of the single most successful and prolific actors in history. With a career spanning decades, including cult classics, massive franchises and everything in between, there is much to choose from. That said, his five selections may come as a bit of a surprise, for various reasons.
The actor, who currently stars in Spiral: From the Book of Saw, recently appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Having appeared in blockbusters like Jurassic Park and the Star Wars prequel trilogy, as well as classics like Pulp Fiction and Goodfellas, Colbert asked Samuel L. Jackson if he ever watches the movies he’s been in. Here’s what he had to say.
“Some actors lie to you about that. They watch their movies. It’s a ‘watch me’ business, that’s why we’re here. I got into it because I love acting but when I was doing theater, I always wanted to watch the plays I was in with me in them. And I couldn’t. So, with the opportunity to make stuff and then watch it, yes. I watch it. If I’m channel surfing and I haven’t found anything I want to watch, or I’m not specifically looking for something, and I pass something I’m in, I stop and watch it.”
At that point, the host asked the actor to name the top five movies he had been in. Samuel L. Jackson didn’t prepare a list in advance, it appeared, but the five titles he rattled off were The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996), A Time To Kill(1996), Jackie Brown (1997), The Red Violin (1999) and One Eight Seven (1997). Considering the movies he has been in, it’s a unique list. For one, all of these movies were produced in the mid-to-late 90s. It also doesn’t include any entries from the huge franchises he’s been in. It even includes, arguably, his least-known Quentin Tarantino collaboration.
The Long Kiss Goodnight is certainly a well-liked 90s flick, and A Time To Kill was a critically-acclaimed success. But there are certainly a couple of deep cuts in there. One Eight Seven was released in 1997 and the drama, directed by Kevin Reynolds, is a hardly-discussed entry in the actor’s filmography. The Red Violin, released in 1999 and directed by François Girard, is another entry, though acclaimed, that gets largely passed over in discussing Sam Jackson’s contributions to cinema.
Samuel L. Jackson is known best these days as Nick Fury in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Jackson has played the part from the very beginning, having appeared briefly in a post-credits scene in Iron Man. He is set to reprise the role once more in Marvel’s Secret Invasion series for Disney+. Aside from that, Jackson stars in The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard, a sequel to The Hitman’s Bodyguard, which arrives in theaters later this month. You can check out the full interview clip for yourself from The Late Show YouTube channel.