Samuel L. Jackson

Samuel L. Jackson Didn’t Appear in ‘Malcolm X’ Due to Low Wage Offered by Spike Lee

Samuel L. Jackson Didn’t Appear in ‘Malcolm X’ Due to Low Wage Offered by Spike Lee

Samuel L. Jackson has always seemed like someone who will tell you what’s on his mind.

In a recent, long-ranging interview with Vulture, the 74-year-old actor detailed why he stopped working with filmmaker Spike Lee, whose 1991 drama Jungle Fever opened the door for the veteran actor, whose portrayal as drug addict Gator garnered critical acclaim, including an unprecedented supporting actor award at The Cannes Film Festival. 

Jungle Fever got me into Hollywood. The majority of Black people in America at that time, at a certain economic strata, had a Gator in their family.”

Jackson also acted in several of Lee’s earlier films—Do The Right Thing, Mo’ Better Blues, and School Daze—although a leading role in a “Spike Lee Joint” eluded him. 

Yet, the two had a falling out over money. Jackson wasn’t as big as today, but he knew his worth. Jackson read for a role in Malcolm X, but we never saw him in the Denzel Washington-led biopic. 

“I actually read with most of the people who auditioned for Malcolm X,” Jackson told Bilge Ebiri. “I was supposed to be the guy that turned Malcolm X on to Islam in prison. I forget who played that role. But it was still down to that Spike Lee scale-plus-10. I was like, “I’m not going to work for no scale-plus-10.”

And yet, 20-plus years after Jackson held his ground, actors are going on strike to get better pay and make sure A.I. doesn’t replace them. In a previous interview with Rolling Stone, Jackson stated he was not a fan of it and spoke about the dangers of A.I. and his experience of working with the technology.

Jackson is currently in the latest Disney + Marvel offering, Secret Invasion, playing Nick Fury, a role he began playing in the 2008 blockbuster, Iron Man

Samuel L. Jackson Didn’t Appear in ‘Malcolm X’ Due to Low Wage Offered by Spike Lee

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