Keep your golden statues: Samuel L. Jackson has no regrets about turning down Oscar-bait roles in the name of passion projects. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, the actor discussed his feelings on Hollywood’s big award after finally winning an honorary Oscar this year.
Jackson shared that he was a “little bit” surprised by how emotional he felt upon receiving a lifetime achievement trophy at the 94th Annual Academy Awards in March. Jackson’s longtime friend and collaborator Denzel Washington presented the award in a gleefully pure moment.
“As jaded as I wanted to be about it, you know thinking, ‘Well, I should have won an Oscar for this or should have won for that and it didn’t happen,’ once I got over it many years ago, it wasn’t a big deal for me,” Jackson shared.
He continued: “I was never going to let the Oscars be a measure of my success or failure as an actor. My yardstick of success is my happiness: Am I satisfied with what I’m doing? I’m not doing statue-chasing movies. You know: ‘If you do this movie, you’ll win an Oscar.’ No, thanks. I’d rather be Nick Fury. Or having fun being Mace Windu with a lightsaber in my hand.”
When the L.A. Times asked Jackson if he regretted turning down any of those “statue-chasing” films, he was quick to offer a resounding “no.”
“I want to do the stuff that made me want to go to the movies when I was a kid. I want to do that movie that people just want to see so they can get out of themselves,” Jackson said. “That’s the guy I chose to be and I’m fine with it. I’m satisfied because that’s who I am. I’m the guy who does the lines that people see on T-shirts. There’s actors who go their whole careers and no one can quote a line they’ve said in a movie. People go to watch my movies to see how crazy I’m going to be or see how many times I say motherfucker.” He laughed before continuing: “Whatever gets them in the seats.”