Quint interviews the King of Cool Samuel L. Jackson about SNAKES ON A MUTHAFUCKIN' PLANE!!!
Published at: Aug. 8, 2006, 8:22 a.m. CST by staff
Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with my ten whole minutes of one on one time with the man, the myth, the motherfuckin' legend, Samuel L. Jackson, about none other than SNAKES ON A PLANE.
I sat down with The Man at Comic-Con. First of all, he spent the whole interview kicked back, totally cool and relaxed. The pic you'll see below is how he spent the entire interview.
I also quickly found out that he reads this very site. He asked who I was on the site when we were introduced and when I told him I wrote as Quint (and handed him a business card with my Cartuna image on it), he thought for a second and then said, "Hey, I know you. You're the one who posted those pictures of Christina Ricci in her panties," referring to a BLACK SNAKE MOAN post I ran late last year (Click here to see that post!). He studied the card a little more and said, "Hey, you're eaten by a shark! Just like me!!!"
And then we got down to business, discussing SNAKES ON A PLANE, his involvement in the upcoming Stephen King adaptation 1408, JUMPER and a little bit about Quentin Tarantino's projects. This interview is fun as hell. I had a blast talking with The Man and I think you'll have a blast reading it. Enjoy!!!
QUINT: Are you excited to see the fans at the panel later today?
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: Oh, hell yeah!
QUINT: I can't even believe SNAKES ON A PLANE has gotten so big, and this flick is right up my alley! I grew up on the AIP movies...
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: That's what I've been sayin' to people. When I was readin' all these things on the net about, you know... playin' to the lowest common denominator of America's audience and how could Sam Jackson do something like this? and la-da-da and schlock movie da-da-da... It's like, c'mon! Where were you on Saturday afternoons? I know where I was! I was at the movies watchin' shit like this!
QUINT: On a double bill with something equally fun, even.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: Yeah, man! All day long. Naturally, if I had a chance to do somethin' like this, I'll do it! In my mind, I been doin' it all my life... sittin' there watching and going, "I wish I was in this!" or screamin' and freakin' and goin' home, pretending to be the monster, or sittin' in the seat while the movie's going on... catch your friends payin' too much attention then (makes a poking gesture, then follows it up with a scared face) Ahhh!!!! Hell yeah!
QUINT: That's great... when you see a movie and know your friends are going to flip for this... you take 'em and you know the right parts and you can throw an elbow at the right moment...
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: And you can just do somethin' to them and AAAHHH!
QUINT: Is it true that you agreed to do the movie just based on the title?
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: Uh, yeah. Pretty much true... But not like most people say... that I got the script, I saw the title, I looked at it an threw the script away and said, "Sure, I'll do it." Naw, I was reading the trades and I saw where it said, "Ronny Yu to do Snakes." I went, "What the hell is this?" I read the article and it said Ronny Yu was doin' this movie at New Line, SNAKES ON A PLANE. So, Ronny and I had done a film before and we were in touch, so I emailed him. "What is this, man?" He's like, "Oh, it's a horror picture about poisonous snakes on a plane." I said, "Can I be in it?" He was like, "For real?" I'm like, "Ya'! For real. Seriously!"
He called New Line and New Line didn't believe it. They called my agent. My agent's like, "I don't know." Then they called my manager and she's all, "Yeah, probably. He likes that kind of movie." So, from that point on I was attached to it.
QUINT: I really can't wait for the movie, especially after hearing about the pick-ups adding in harder stuff...
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: All the right things. All the right things that we wanted to do while we were shootin' it and thinkin' about it for people who watch that kind of movie. And, you know, David (Ellis) was very capable of makin' that particular film from the outset. If you watch FINAL DESTINATION 2 and all the other stuff he's done you know that. So, I don't know why... They could have tamed it down just by eliminating some of the stuff, so let's just shoot it anyway and save yourselves some money. But, as usual, the hard way in Hollywood is the easy way. (laughs)
QUINT: It's the way they know.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: Yeah. That's the way they know.
QUINT: So, when you did the pickups did you really just go in to up the language and up the gore and make the pieces that'd make the film the hard R rated flick the fans want to see?
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: Yeah. Yeah. It's all about that, you know. You go back and you put in the snake hits you wanted to put in because you have the ability to show a snake gnawin' on somebody's arm, not just jumpin' off screen and jumpin' back, cutting to somebody (holds his arm) going "Ow-ow-ow!" You see that snake hangin' on that person's arm and that person' tryin' to shake it off! Or somebody gettin' bit in the face, you know, by a snake. Nasty stuff!
QUINT: Great. Because if I was in the audience for SNAKES ON A PLANE and just saw a parade of reaction shots I'd be pissed.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: No! Hell, no! You want the snake hit! You want to see it. You have two people goin' to screw in a bathroom on a plane and you know that there are some snakes on there... you know that when that tit comes out, you want to see a snake on that tit! At some point you gonna go, "Man, I know a snake's going to show up somewhere... and hopefully that snake's going to be on that tit!"
QUINT: Has Tarantino ever shown you his print of THE MUTHER'S?
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: No.
QUINT: He comes to Austin all the time for QT Fest where he has shown that film twice now. It's this Philippino blaxploitation flick and it has this group of girl pirates escaping the slave camp. They're running through the jungle at one point and one of the chicks gets bitten on the boob by a snake. She says something like, "Like every man I've ever met. Can't leave my tits alone!"
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: Yeah. I'm sure they had no problem gettin' somebody to suck that venom out, though. (laughs)
QUINT: And it was all girls, so that'd be even better!
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: Even better!
QUINT: Back to SNAKES ON A PLANE... the movie has almost become a badge of honor for the geeks. Not just the internet geeks, but all the geeks. Do you actually say the words "Snakes On A Muthafuckin' Plane?"
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: Yeah.
QUINT: See, that's the moment I want to see with a crowd, like at the Alamo Drafthouse. They'll love that! I almost look forward to that crowd experience more than watching the movie itself.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: Oh, totally! It's what I wanted to say originally, you know. It was the whole PG thing... we can only have 2 "fucks" and it can't be in a sexual connotation. So... it's like, "Let's get these snakes the fuck off this plane." Naaawww... That's not quite, you know... "I'm sick of these muthafuckin' snakes on this muthafuckin' plane!" You know? That's the real deal!
So, being able to go back in there and say it was like... "Yeah!"
QUINT: So, you're doing a Stephen King flick now, 1408, right?
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: Yeah.
QUINT: I'm a big Stephen King fan and I really like that story.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: Yeah, I'm leaving to do that Sunday, yeah.
QUINT: The character in the book wasn't a huge character... I mean, he was since there were only 2 central characters in the story...
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: Oh, really?
QUINT: The story it was just the debunker going in and the hotel manager telling him...
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: Hotel manager tellin' him don't go in, yeah. It's been expanded a bit. But yeah, I like that hotel manager dude. He's kinda cool. And I think John Cusack's the right guy to put in a room like that. It's goin' to be cool... and the script is really nice. It's a great adaptation. It's gonna work out great.
It seems like it's kinda like my year to do otherworldly shit. I go from that to JUMPER.
QUINT: Oh, yeah. That sounds like it could be a lot of fun. You're playing a dude hunting the kids that...
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: Yeah, the Harlican, yeah. A group of guys called the Harlicans that hunt down the kids that can time warp.
QUINT: If Tarantino ever gets around to making INGLORIOUS BASTARDS, would you have a part in that?
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: I haven't talked to him about it at all! And I'm not sure... 'Cause I keep running into Rosario Dawson and all these other chicks... I don't know if it's like a chick flick. Or is that somethin' else? 'Cause they're all doin' something with him and they're playing these girl assassins or killers or some shit and all of them are all tryin' to learn to do the Jules laugh for some reason. I was like, "Really? I wonder what that's about."
QUINT: I know Rosario is in Quentin's GRINDHOUSE segment, but who knows? When I talked to him about INGLORIOUS BASTARDS he never really got into any specifics, he just talks about other movies.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: Exactly! And I'm supposed to have my gratuitous cameo in whatever he does, so... maybe I'll hear from him soon.
QUINT: I want to see his war movie. I mean, we've seen the Hong Kong influence in KILL BILL and I'd love to see him try his hand at a war epic...
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: Well, he's been tryin' to do this WW2 army movie for a long time. Maybe he's just given up on that and is doin' something else in the same vain so he can get it out.
QUINT: What's your favorite dirty joke?
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: Favorite dirty joke... hmm...
QUINT: It's usually the one that pops into the mind first...
SAMUEL L. JACKSON: Okay, well... the one that always pops in my mind... There are tons and tons of jokes, but they always change. The one that always pops in my mind is... A man and a woman are in a doctor's office and the guy asks the girl, "Why are you here?" And she says, "I'm here to sell some blood." He goes, "How much do you get for that?" She goes, "Twenty dollars a pint." She asks him, "Why are you here?" He says, "Well, I sell sperm to the sperm bank." She says, "How much do you get for that?" He's like, "A hundred dollars a pop." She goes, "Oh, great," and they go their separate ways.
So, a month later they're back in the office and the guy sees the girl again and goes, "Hey! You back to sell some more blood?" And she goes (cheeks puffed out and head shaking "no"), "Uh-uh!"
See what I mean? The dude's too cool for school. I hope you guys dug the interview as much as I dug doing it. I still have a bunch of one on one Con interviews to come, including Bryan Singer, Edgar Wright, Nick Frost, the Reno 9-11 guys, TMNT movie director Kevin Munroe and producer Dean Devlin. Stay tuned!