As one of the most celebrated and prolific actors in the industry with a career that spans decades, Samuel L. Jackson should have already won an Academy Award. It is one of the most coveted accomplishments in Hollywood and with a resumé that hosts dozens of successful, blockbuster films, the actor’s fans have often questioned why the Academy has yet to recognize Jackson’s unmatched talents.
This year, Jackson is slated to receive an Honorary Oscar, but while speaking with The Times, he spoke about the one and only time he was nominated for an Academy Award and missed out. Back in 1994, Jackson was up for Best Supporting Actor for his monumental role in Quentin Tarantino’s classic film, Pulp Fiction.
Jackson faced off against his peers that included Gary Sinise in Forrest Gump, Chazz Palminteri for Bullets Over Broadway, Quiz Show‘s Paul Scofield, and the Oscar winner, Martin Landau in Ed Wood.
“I should have won that one,” said Jackson, also mentioning that he was deserving of an Oscar for his role in Spike Lee’s 1991 classic Jungle Fever, as well. At the 1992 Academy Awards, Bugsy stole two spots in the Best Supporting Actor category.
“My wife and I went to see ‘Bugsy,’” said the actor. “Damn! They got nominated and I didn’t? I guess Black folk usually win for doing despicable sh*t on screen. Like Denzel [Washington] for being a horrible cop in ‘Training Day.’ All the great stuff he did in uplifting roles like ‘Malcolm X?’ No — we’ll give it to this motherf*cker. So maybe I should have won one. But Oscars don’t move the comma on your cheque — it’s about getting asses in seats and I’ve done a good job of doing that.”
Jackson believes that the Oscars should switch things up and add a “Most Popular Film” category.
“All movies are valid,” he said. “Some go to the cinema to be moved dearly. Some like superheroes. If somebody has more butts on seats it just means your audience is not as broad. There are people who have had successful careers but nobody can recite one line of their parts. I’m the guy who says sh8t that’s on a T-shirt.”
Check out an iconic scene from Pulp Fiction below.