This trip was sponsored by Disney. All opinions are my own. Yesterday we shared our Incredibles 2 interview with Craig T. Nelson (voice of “Bob Parr / Mr. Incredible”) & Holly Hunter (“Helen Parr / Elastigirl”). They are so funny and shared so much about the film, their thoughts about the sequel and more. Be sure to read it here. Today I get to share our interview with Samuel L. Jackson. He has been one of my favorites for years, and it was an honor to be in the room with him and listen to his stories and answers.
Pretty much everything he said was said in a smart-alec tone, and his answers made us all laugh. He is so funny. As you read through this, you can picture his funny honesty coming through.
Interview with Samuel L. Jackson about Incredibles 2
I’ve heard that you have a collection of action figures, do you have a lot of Frozone?
Samuel: Yeah, you mean other people have them? Well, that started when I did Jurassic Park, they made action figures for everybody but my character. I was kind of like- so after that I kind of insisted.
How do you feel about an Incredibles sequel now that it’s actually happening?
Samuel: I’m relieved now. I mean that was a lot of pressure. My feed is always full of ‘when are they going to make The Incredibles 2’, ‘when are they going to make The Incredibles 2’…like it was my decision. Now I feel a lot better knowing the pressure has been relieved, they’ve made it, people can be happy.
Now I have a feeling people are going to be asking “when are they going to make an Incredibles 3?” The second one is THAT good!
Was it easy to pick up your character from the first one and bring it into this one?
Samuel: Yeah of course.
This was the question I asked him, hoping to get a little more elaborate answer…but he gave me a look of “duh” and said Yeah, of course with a big smile and that was that. It was also very funny.
Did you know you were going to spend the next decade-plus in superhero world after you did the first movie?
Samuel: Well you know, it’s like I said, people have been asking where where where where where is it where is it where is it where is it because according to the way the last one ended, everybody just assumed there was going to be another one. And Brad [Bird] went off and started doing real people movies. And I don’t think they wanted to put it in the hands of anybody else. And it’s also one of those things where the first movie was so perfect, and so awesome, that you got to say to yourself… ‘Can we really do something that awesome and just a little bit more awesome the next time so it justifies us doing a sequel?’ And I think they accomplished it. The movie is kind of awesome. And this dude gets to show off.
The last part was said as he picked up a stuffed Jack-Jack plushie from the table and held it up – referring to baby Jack-Jack getting to show off in the movie. I also agree with Samuel about having the movie done by Brad Bird because he is so talented and really did a remarkable job with both films.
Holly [Hunter] mentioned that really you’re just acting and directing with Brad Bird in the room. How is that different than other movies?
Samuel: It’s not stuck in my face, it’s there, but Brad is sitting over there in a corner and he’s reading stuff and actually Brad turns out to be pretty good. He pretty much tries to imitate everybody’s voice when we’re doing this stuff. So and he is Edna, he’s the best character in the movie. So you know, it just becomes- I’ve only worked once with Craig in the room and that was in the first movie, the first time we were in the studio together and I think that’s when they decided no we’re not going to put these guys together. It’s just like doing any other acting job for me. It’s like when I’m in a booth doing a voice over or doing an audiobook or doing a vocal Capital One commercial, get in there and do it- just get in there and do it.
Did you feel that Pixar magic when you were working on it?
Samuel: No. Because in the end, it’s all Disney, it’s all Disney, it’s like okay that’s Marvel, that’s Pixar. So it’s always Disney.
Would you like to see a Frozone movie in itself?
Samuel: Oh I always like seeing a movie with myself in it. Anything starring me is a good idea, so yeah.
How much do you relate to Frozone, I feel like if you were a superhero that would be you.
Samuel: Really? I’d be shooting ice, not fire, I’m not hot like that? Oh, I see, I see- oh. Oh, fire is for the Black Panther guy. Old guys get to be cool, not hot. That’s a little ageism, I’m feeling a little Me Too about that.
I would think you throw fire with the last name Fury.
Samuel: Yeah-yeah-yeah. Of course but it would be like, what is it, dry ice. Will burn you when you touch it.
We know that your power in the movie is ice even though you’re hot in real life, but what is your real life superpower?
Samuel: Earning money for my wife and daughter. Surviving thirty-eight years of marriage yeah, that’s the superpower.
This series of questions and answers had us all rolling we were laughing so hard. I really love his sense of humor and his ability to pick up and make everything funny.
If you could voice a different character from Incredibles, which one would you be?
Samuel: Edna. Edna is just the dope-est, she’s just, you know, wise cool dry, unaffected by the world. The world revolves around her.
If you could freeze any moment in time, what era or time would you freeze?
Samuel: You know what, like the early seventies, I was in New York in seventy-six Halloween, when we got to New York City when we started this marvelous journey that we were ready to conquer the world and be the best actors on the planet.
And my wife and I thought we were going to be Liz Taylor and Richard Burton. But it was a vibrant time in New York, there were so many of us there. And it was a great time for work, and comradeship and all the people that we met. Morgan [Freeman], Alfre [Woodard], Denzel [Washington], and Wesley [Snipes], and everybody was there working. And we all worked together, we ate together, we went to auditions together, we went to the same unemployment office when we weren’t working. Vibrant times and learning times.
Which cemented some really great friendships and just the challenge of being on stage with those people and wanting to be better, wanting to be good, and making all those things happen. That kind of makes us who we are on screen, for everybody. Because we had all that discipline and all that working together and learning how to be an ensemble and not just outshine everybody who’s around you. Sometimes you can’t help it, because the other people aren’t so good, but being there and being in that time, that would be great.
What advice would you give to young actors just starting out?
Samuel: Do as much theater as you can do. You know, fame is a drug that these people, young people now have, because it seems so accessible. If you do enough, you know, you do enough online or you get enough likes or people get enough eyes on you, you become famous for just no reason, or for reasons that aren’t worth talking about.
But if you’re serious about it- go to New York. Challenge yourself. On stage or off Broadway on Broadway, work with as many different kinds of actors and directors as you can and learn the craft. Upstage, downstage, stage right, stage left, being dominant, being submissive on stage.
There’s a wealth of information to be gained from working in front of real people every night and getting that [CLAPS] or getting that [he gave us a side-eye look of ummmm] because you learn from that. And there’s no real way to know you can do it until you hear people say it or you’re in a theater and you feel the energy of the audience when you’re doing something. When you make them said or you hear them, awe, then you make them happy, they laugh they applaud they cheer they sigh they do whatever.
When you feel the energy of people, then you know okay, this works, that works, that doesn’t work, this works. So that when you get to this place, or on a screen somewhere, you don’t have to question what you do, it feels right, you know, it works.
What it’s like to always get to play the best characters?
Samuel: I wish I knew, Oh, I don’t get to always play the best ones, I just have fun playing the ones that I get.
You always get the best lines…
Samuel: Well people like selling t-shirts, they know they’re giving me the t-shirt lines, yeah.
You’re known for some language?
Samuel: What, French? German?
Is that something you do for movies and for show or does it slip into your everyday talk?
Samuel: That’s pretty much who I am- yeah- I don’t know. Well, that’s one of the things. I have talked like that my whole life, basically. But I stuttered really badly when I was a kid. And one of the mechanisms to stop it was mother f*****, I could say what I had to say. So that worked and it just kind of flows over into the rest of my life.
In fact, I just got a notice from Twitter about something I said. But they said I was fine. Somebody reported me for- somebody literally reported me for something I’d been doing since I got on Twitter, it’s kind of like, I’ve been doing this since I got on Twitter, my first tweet had that word in it, you know, and so I don’t know why. But they assured me it’s fine.
You have a lot of fun acting. What do you do on long days to make it particularly fun?
Samuel: Long days? Every day is a long day on a movie set. Days like today you mean, long days talking about myself? Oh, long days on movie sets, I watch movies, I watch a lot of Judge shows, during the day, when I’m on a movie set because they’re on all day. So and I never miss Judy, because that’s my friend, Judy and I, me and Judy are like that. We like hanging out and have dinner together and stuff so I watch judge shows, I watch movies.
I read scripts when they come to me. There are some actors who don’t read while they’re working because they’re in character and their characters are illiterate or something. And sometimes I’m working on the next thing. I’m reading the script that I have to go to next and making notes, because when I finish Captain Marvel on July sixth I got to be on another movie set on July eighth. So I got to start figuring out what I’m going to do for that movie already, so there’s stuff. And sometimes, you know, eat sandwiches.
You’ve done so many amazing movies- What’s your personal favorite?
Samuel: My favorite? Oh, Long Kiss Goodnight. Yeah, a movie that’s a really underrated film. That the studio didn’t quite know what to do with because women weren’t bad asses in that time. And they didn’t think women wanted to see it- they didn’t think men wanted to see women be bad asses at that time, so they didn’t know how to market that movie, but it’s since gained a really great cult favorite, because I mean Geena is awesome in that movie, she is so awesome, it was great. But that’s it.
This Interview with Samuel L. Jackson is one of my favorites so far. He is hilarious and had us laughing the whole time. He has always been one of my favorite actors and so I really enjoyed this interview. Incredibles 2 comes out June 15 (THAT’S THIS WEEKEND 🙂 ).
The Incredibles 2 is another fantastic film from Disney-Pixar. Here is the trailer:
You can also learn more and follow them on:
Like INCREDIBLES 2 on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PixarTheIncredibles/
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Visit the official INCREDIBLES 2 website here: http://disney.com/incredibles2
INCREDIBLES 2 opens in theatres everywhere on June 15th!
We just shared our Craig T. Nelson (voice of “Bob Parr / Mr. Incredible”) & Holly Hunter (“Helen Parr / Elastigirl”) interview and we will still be sharing more about, “Bao” Director Domee Shi & Producer Becky Neiman interview, BIG CITY GREENS Creators interview, Incredibles Film Review, Sarah Vowell (voice of “Violet Parr”) & Huck Milner (voice of “Dash Parr”) interview, Bob Odenkirk (voice of “Winston Deavor”) & Catherine Keener (“Evelyn Deavor”) interview, and Sophia Bush (voice of “Voyd”) interview. Check back over the next couple weeks as we share all of this and more with you!