No disrespect to the star-studded ensemble of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but Quentin Tarantino’s acting troupe is stronger for Samuel L. Jackson. Reflecting on his career while accepting the Legend of Cinema Award at the 2020 SCAD Savannah Film Festival (via Entertainment Weekly), Jackson shared that his cast members from Tarantino’s “The Hateful Eight” make up the closest film bond of his career. That’s saying something considering Jackson is also a fixture of the MCU and George Lucas’ “Star Wars” prequels, plus dozens of other films.
“The haters from ‘Hateful Eight,’ we have a chain where we still text each other every week to say where are you, what are you doing, or we’re commenting on the political situation. That’s the strongest cinematic connection I’ve ever had.”
Jackson starred as Major Marquis Warren in “The Hateful Eight” opposite Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Bruce Dern, Michael Madsen, Demián Bichir, Tim Roth, and Walton Goggins. Like Jackson, a majority of the cast had worked with Tarantino before on various projects. “The Hateful Eight” marked the sixth collaboration between Jackson and Tarantino after “Pulp Fiction” (which nabbed Jackson an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor), “Jackie Brown,” “Kill Bill” (cameo), “Inglourious Basterds” (narrator), and “Django Unchained.”
“The Hateful Eight” earned $155 million worldwide but was considered a box office disappointment in the U.S., where The Weinstein Company spent lots of money retrofitting theaters to play the film in Tarantino’s preferred 70mm roadshow format. With its 68 Metacritic grade, the violent Western drama is considered one of Tarantino’s most divisive directorial offerings among critics. The film won Ennio Morricone the Oscar for Best Original Score and picked up nominations for Best Cinematography and Best Supporting Actress for Leigh.
“The Hateful Eight” might be home to Jackson’s strongest cast connection, but it’s not the Tarantino film he finds himself re-watching the most. The actor, who has appeared in over 150 films and counting, told the SCAD Savannah Film Festival that “Pulp Fiction” and “Jackie Brown” are the two Tarantino films he revisits the most, along with other acting entries such as “One Eight Seven,” “Coach Carter,” or “Deep Blue Sea.” Head over to EW’s website to watch Jackson’s full hour-long SCAD panel.