Samuel Leroy Jackson (born December 21, 1948 in Washington, D.C.) is one of the top leading men and supporting actors in Hollywood today. If you see a badass Scary Black Man with No Indoor Voice in one of your favorite films, chances are good that this guy's playing him (and will likely give you a few lines to remember for ages).
Not to be confused with Laurence Fishburne. According to both actors' IMDB entries, this happens frequently, in both directions. Jackson himself acknowledges that he and Fishburne were even mistaken while standing next to each other, but that also "I've been every famous black guy", including Morgan Freeman.
And, for God's sake, don't try to portmanteau his first name and middle initial together, creating "Samuelle Jackson." It never ends well. Though "Mr. Jackson" is entirely appropriate.
For those who still believe that being a nerd and being a badass are two unrelated concepts, he's a big fan of anime, videogames, manga and comic books. He is known to collect action figures that depict characters that he has portrayed, including Jules Winnfield, John Shaft II, Mace Windu and Frozone. Oh, and Nick Fury too.
As one might guess, he is a living Fountain of Memes.
Unsurprisingly, he is an element on the Periodic Table of Awesoments◊ - abbreviation Mf (element 37).
Jackson is also one of those lucky Hollywood few who is Happily Married: he has been married to LaTanya Richardson, whom he met at Morehouse College, since 1980.
He also did an anti-gun violence PSA, which can be found here, and pro-Obama commercial for the 2012 Presidential campaign.
He's also a legendary youth hockey coach.
He also owns a real life goddamn Lightsaber.
- Coming to America (1989) as Hold-Up Man
- Do the Right Thing (1989) as Mister Señor Love Daddy
- Mo' Better Blues (1990) as Madlock
- The Exorcist III (1990) as Blind Dream Man
- Goodfellas (1990) as Stacks Edwards
- Jungle Fever (1991) as Gator Purify
- White Sands (1992) as Greg Meeker
- Patriot Games (1992) as Robby Jackson
- Menace II Society (1993) as Tat Lawson
- Loaded Weapon 1 (1993) as Sgt. Wes Luger
- Amos & Andrew (1993) as Andrew Sterling
- Jurassic Park (1993) as Ray Arnold
- True Romance (1993) as Big Don
- Fresh (1994) as Sam
- Pulp Fiction (1994) as Jules Winnfield
- Die Hard with a Vengeance (1995) as Zeus Carver
- The Great White Hype (1996) as Rev. Fred Sultan
- A Time to Kill (1996) as Carl Lee Hailey
- The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996) as Mitch Henessey note
- Hard Eight (1996) as Jimmy
- Trees Lounge (1996) as Wendell
- Jackie Brown (1997) as Ordell Robbie
- Sphere (1998) as Harry Adams
- The Negotiator (1998) as Lt. Danny Roman
- The Red Violin (1998) as Charles Morritz
- Out of Sight (1998) as Hejira Henry
- Star Wars franchise as Mace Windu
- Deep Blue Sea (1999) as Russell Franklin
- Rules of Engagement (2000) as Col. Terry L. Childers
- Shaft (2000) as John Shaft II
- Shaft (2019)
- Unbreakable (2000) as Elijah Price/Mr. Glass
- Glass (2019)
- The 51st State (2002) as Elmo McElroy
- Changing Lanes (2002) as Doyle Gipson
- xXx (2002) as Agent Augustus Gibbons
- No Good Deed (2002) as Jack Friar
- Basic (2003) as Sgt. Nathan West
- S.W.A.T. (2003) as Sgt. Hondo Harrelson
- Kill Bill (2004) as Rufus
- The Incredibles (2004) as Lucius Best/Frozone
- Incredibles 2 (2019)
- In My Country (2004) as Langston Whitfield
- Coach Carter (2005) as Ken Carter
- The Man (2005) as Derrick Vann
- Snakes on a Plane (2006) as Agent Neville Flynn
- Black Snake Moan (2006) as Lazarus Woods
- Farce of the Penguins (2007) as Narrator
- 1408 (2007) as Gerald Olin
- Marvel Cinematic Universe as Col. Nicholas J. "Nick" Fury
- Iron Man (2008)
- Iron Man 2 (2010)
- Thor (2011)
- Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
- The Avengers (2012)
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (2013, 2014)
- Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
- Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
- Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
- Captain Marvel (2019)
- Avengers: Endgame (2019)
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)
- What If...? (2021)
- Secret Invasion (TBA)
- Lakeview Terrace (2008) as Abel Turner
- The Spirit (2008) as The Octopus
- Astro Boy (2009) as Zog
- Mother And Child (2009) as Paul
- Inglourious Basterds (2009) as The Narrator (uncredited)
- Unthinkable (2010) as Henry Harold Humphries
- The Other Guys (2010) as Detective PK Highsmith
- Django Unchained (2012) as Stephen
- Turbo (2013) as Whiplash
- Oldboy (2013) as Chaney
- RoboCop (2014) as Pat Novak
- Big Game (2014) as President William Alan Moore
- Kingsman: The Secret Service (2015) as Richmond Valentine
- Barely Lethal (2015) as Hardman
- The Hateful Eight (2015) as Major Marquis Warren
- Cell (2016) as Tom McCourt
- The Legend of Tarzan (2016) as George Washington Williams
- I Am Not Your Negro (2016) as Narrator
- Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (2016) as Mr. Barron
- Kong: Skull Island (2017) as Lt. Col. Preston Packard
- The Hitman's Bodyguard (2017) as Darius Kincaid
- Unicorn Store (2017) as The Salesman
- The Banker (2020) as Joe Morris
- Spiral (2021) as Marcus Banks
- Against the Wall (1994) as Jamaal
- The Proud Family (2001) as Joseph (episode: "Seven Days of Kwanzaa")
- Afro Samurai (2007) as Afro Samurai and Ninja Ninja (5 episodes)
- The Boondocks (2010) as Gin Rummy (3 episodes)
- Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (2004) as Frank Tenpenny
- Iron Man 2 (2010) as Nick Fury
- Heroes of Newerth (2010) as Announcer
- Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes (2014) as Nick Fury
- The Mountaintop (2011-12) as Martin Luther King Jr.
- Inspired by... the Bible Experience (2007) as God (New Testament)
- Go the Fuck to Sleep (2011) as Narrator
- Ability over Appearance: He was cast in the MCU as Nick Fury despite Fury being depicted in the comics as Caucasian (though he was depicted as... Samuel L. Jackson in the Ultimate Marvel series). But Jackson's take on the character was received so well that the main comic version of Fury was changed to African-American.
- Actor Allusion: You don't portray a plethora of iconic characters and become a Fountain of Memes without your later career being full of winks and nods to the fact that you're Samuel L. Jackson.
- Attending Your Own Funeral: He has portrayed at least two roles in which he is presumed dead in a No-One Could Have Survived That situation, only to turn up at his own funeral, more-or-less in one piece. These are meta nods to the fact that the man makes his living playing badass characters.
- Badass Baritone: All the better to deliver his trademark Cluster F-Bomb.
- Brutal Honesty:
- But for Me, It Was Tuesday: One of the weirdest real-life examples. Leonardo DiCaprio was having issues portraying Calvin Candie in Django Unchained, particularly with his frequent use of the n-word. Samuel had to remind him that it was "just another Tuesday" and he had a job to do.
- Catchphrase: His characters say the word "motherfucker" appears in nearly every role he plays. Jackson has said this enough that the Huffington Post made a four-minute long video compilation of every "motherfucker" he's ever said.
- Chronically Killed Actor: Along with the six deaths before Pulp Fiction, there are many others given bad guys or Dead Star Walking define a good chunk of his roles.
- Cluster F-Bomb: The patron saint of this MOTHERFUCKING trope. In a real-life Moment of Awesome, he revealed that he used to stutter, and saying "motherfucker" has helped him get over it.
- Comic-Book Fantasy Casting: The comic book The Ultimates, a reimagination of The Avengers, designed Nick Fury after Jackson's likeness. Jackson noticed this and almost sued Marvel for blatantly using his likeness without his permission. Fortunately, Jackson and Marvel were able to work things out amicably, leading to him playing the role in the MCU and elsewhere.
- Cool Old Guy: Although Jackson is in his early 70s, he continues to play roles that show off a considerable amount of badass. Also a case of Truth in Television. When he was in college at Morehouse, he held MARTIN LUTHER KING JR'S FATHER hostage as part of a protest. No, seriously.
- Dirty Old Man: During an episode of Wired where he answers questions asked about him on the internet, he was asked by Google, "Does Samuel L. Jackson like anime?", to which he responds (a bit too gleefully), "Yes, I do... hentai too!", followed by a rather... fitting laugh.Just watch.
- Fountain of Memes: Due to his many Large Ham roles and being Sir Swears-a-Lot, many of his most famous lines (especially from Pulp Fiction) have become memes, to the point where the man himself is a meme. The reason Snakes on a Plane became a cult movie (before it even came out) was simply the fact that he was in it, as well as its silly premise. The most famous line from the film is also an Ascended Meme.
- Large Ham: Given most of his roles are mean and passionate, Jackson frequently goes over the top and shouty. Even in real life he's this way, as shown by his Twitter during◊ sports events.
- Nice Hat: He very often wears a beret in public, as well as various other styles of hat sometimes. The Unlimited Wardrobe size of his hat collection was featured in a news article, even.
- N-Word Privileges: He's defended the use of N-word in dialogue if it's appropriate to the settingnote and says that he'll add it on his own accord if he feels that a scene needs it. And there's that time when he took the mick out of a white reporter who couldn't dare himself to say the word while interviewing him about Django Unchained:"No? Nobody? None? The word would be...? [...] It wasn't a great question if you can't say the word!"
- Older Than They Look: One of the most famous examples of the "Black don't crack" adage. Let's put it this way: he's the same age as George R. R. Martin. The MCU eventually took advantage of this by having him play a twenty years younger Nick Fury in the '90s-set Captain Marvel with minimal de-aging. He also has a shaved head due to going bald while young, so he doesn't have telltale signs like gray hairs or bald spots.
- Old Shame: When asked about the movie Together for Days, which was his first credited acting appearance, he's usually replied that he's glad that most people haven't seen it.
- One of Us: Has been stated to be a big fan of anime and Star Wars. So much so, that he's had the opportunity to star in three of the films AND be the voice behind the main characters of an anime.
- Prematurely Bald: He went bald at an early age, but this has later made him a candidate to play Bald of Authority characters.
- Production Posse: He has participated in six Quentin Tarantino movies to this day, more than any actor who worked with the director, as well as working often for his Sitcom Arch-Nemesis, Spike Lee.
- Promoted Fanboy:
- He is a big fan of Star Wars and was thrilled he got to play a role in the prequel trilogy. He got a fairly important role, but said he would play any character, even a random mook, as long as he got to be in the movie. It was also his own request to have a purple lightsaber, so he'd be easy to spot in wide shots.
- He's a big fan of comic books. He was quite surprised to find his face in a comic book for Ultimate Nick Fury, and when he contacted Marvel about it, they offered him the right to play him if ever a movie was made. Come Iron Man and since then he's been playing Fury in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He has become quite happy with this arrangement.
- Real Men Wear Pink: His favourite colour is purple and he often plays characters who wear or own something purple. His purple lightsaber was a special request to George Lucas which was retconned to mean Purple Is Powerful for his character. He later gave that lightsaber to Brie Larson as a gift because she was a huge fan of Star Wars.
- Relative Error: He was once photographed going to dinner with a much younger woman, which caused some speculation amongst celebrity gossipers. This eventually reached Jackson's mother, who called her son to see if this was true. His response? "You crazy woman, don't you recognize your own granddaughter?!"
- Scary Black Man: The quintessential actor for this trope. The audiences find it cool, though.
- Significant Monogram: The lightsaber used by Mr. Jackson in Star Wars has "BMF" engraved on the handle. It stands for "Bad Motherfucker", which is also a line spoken by the actor in previous roles.
- Sir Swears-a-Lot: It goes without saying. Some movies will downplay or allude to it with a Curse Cut Short, but considering the man's Catchphrase is the word "motherfucker", expect him to curse in any role he plays.
- Tall, Dark, and Snarky: At an imposing 6'2", dark-skinned, and naturally sarcastic, this fits him.
- Those Two Actors: He's already done three films (Kong: Skull Island, Captain Marvel, and Unicorn Store) with Brie Larson just between 2017-2019, a number which will likely only grow now that she's in the MCU.
- Wag the Director: He refuses to do any more than three takes of any shot, deliberately giving directors and editors as little to work with as possible to make sure that the end result is his intended performance rather than something that's been cobbled together from disparate takes to better fit someone else's vision.
Enough is ENOUGH! I have HAD it with my MOTHERFUCKIN' TROPES on my MOTHERFUCKIN' PAGE!
Edit this page AGAIN! I dare you! I double-dare you, motherfucker! EDIT THIS TROPE PAGE ONE MORE GODDAMN TIME!