Samuel L. Jackson may have been awarded an honorary Oscar at the 2022 Governors Awards, but the iconic actor isn’t holding his breath for an acting Academy Awards win.
Jackson revealed that he views the Oscars as a “popularity contest” not rooted in the true meaning of moviemaking: to entertain. The “Pulp Fiction” star famously was snubbed, losing to Martin Landau for Tim Burton’s “Ed Wood” in 1995.
“I heard way back when when Martin Landau got the award and I didn’t, ‘C’mon, Sam. Martin’s been nominated so many times. Don’t worry. Your time is coming.’ Excuse me? I didn’t know that’s how it worked,” Jackson told the
Los Angeles Times. “I thought it was the acting performance that made the most impact.”
Jackson added, “That’s what we’re celebrating, the big shit that happened in Hollywood. Best actor, best actress…that’s some bullshit. That’s a popularity contest.”
Out of Jackson’s illustrious career, his only nomination to date is for longtime collaborator Quentin Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction” nearly 30 years ago.
“Everything I’ve done for Quentin has a moment that’s given me an opportunity, from ‘Jackie Brown’ to ‘The Hateful Eight’ to ‘Django [Unchained],'” Jackson said, before citing that “Django Unchained” may have been his closest chance at another Oscars nom.
“‘Django’ was probably my best shot because it’s the most evil character I’ve ever played and they generally reward Black people for playing horrendous s—-,” he said, laughing.
“This is the night Hollywood celebrates fucking Hollywood,” Jackson continued to the LA Times. “That thing that we used to have when I was young, watching it and wondering, ‘What am I going to say when I get mine’ was the glamor of it all, the extravagance, the mystique that is Hollywood. Some of that’s gone. You’ve got movie stars who are influencers or people who live out loud, so you know way more about them than you used to know. But it should still be a celebration that you did something that’s great. Like I still say, there should be an award for the movie that made the most money.”
“I tried to entertain audiences the way Hollywood entertained me,” Jackson said. “Make them forget their lives for a few hours, be thrilled, awed or excited. When I got this call last year, it was unexpected, but I guarantee you, this thing is going to be cherished.”