Avengers Assemble: Samuel L. Jackson

Excitement has been building for The Avengers (which hits theatres on May 4, 2012) and I would like to say that there are none more eager to see it than me. To commemorate the gigantic blockbuster movie that is bound to set the new bar for superhero films, I’m going to be doing a weekly profile on the actors who will be filling (and have filled) the shoes of some of our favorite Marvel heroes… and villains.

PROFILE

The oldest member of the Avengers team and arguably, the coolest. Born in 1948 in Washington D.C., he was raised in Chattanooga, Tennessee by his mother, paternal grandparents and extended family. He attended Morehouse College where he aspired to be a marine biologist, until he joined a local acting group and switched his majors. While attending school, he became involved in the Civil Rights Movement, was even suspended for holding the board of trustees hostage as a sign of protest, but when his two year probation was over he returned and earned his Bachelors of Arts.

He spent years on stage, performing in a variety of plays before he was given his feature film debut in Together for Days (1972). From there, he continued to pursue big screen dreams while acting in the theatre, appearing in smalls roles in a handful of movies, even standing in as Bill Cosby’s double on the set of his television show. In 1981, he was introduced to director Spike Lee, who offered him a small roles in School Daze (1988) Do the Right Thing (1989). During this time, Jackson was struggling with both an alcohol and drug addiction and it was through the insistence of his family that he enter treatment. When he came out, he was given the role of an addict in Lee’s Jungle Fever (1991), one which Samuel states was cathartic and necessary for his recovery. It was also the first film that really put him in the spotlight. While Pulp Fiction was his thirtieth film credit, it is likely the movie that fans will most remember him for. It also gained critical acclaim and several award nominations, including a Best Supporting Actor nod from the Academy of Motion Pictures.

He’s appeared in over a hundred movies, having worked with some of the most famous directors (Spielberg, Lee, Tarantino, and Lucas) and nothing seems to be slowing him down.

We first see Jackson take on the role of the S.H.I.E.L.D. leader, Nick Fury in Iron Man (2008) in a short scene at the ending credits which had become a theme throughout all of the films related to the Avengers team (The Incredible Hulk, Thor, Captain America). In the sequel, Iron Man 2 (2010), we get to see more of the man with a plan and the hintings of what has now become one of the most anticipated movies of the year.

Want to see more of what he’s capable? Below, I’ve included a couple of his films that I think everyone should see.

Oscar Nominated Film: Pulp Fiction
Best Known For: Star Wars: Episode 2 – The Clone Wars
Must Watch: Black Snake Moan

What’s Next? Django Unchained, Zambezia & Turbo

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