Samuel L. Jackson‘s interview with KTLA entertainment reporter Sam Rubin — during which the “RoboCop” star had to inform Rubin, at length, that he wasn’t Laurence Fishburne — was a high-water mark in cringeworthy television.
But it was far from the only tense moment that Jackson has shared with the media. While others have paid homage to Jackson with sketches and movie-clip compilations, TheWrap is looking back on the actor’s awkward history with reporters. Read on for Jackson’s greatest hits in his ongoing game of Beat the Press.
“I’m Not Laurence Fishburne!”
Might as well stop from the top, with Jackson’s schooling of Rubin, after Rubin apparently mistook Jackson for Laurence Fishburne with a reference to a Super Bowl ad (presumably, Fishburne’s “Matrix”-themed Kia ad).
“We don’t all look alike!” Jackson informed Rubin. “You’re the entertainment reporter for this station and you don’t know the difference between me and Laurence Fishburne? There must be a very short line for your job.”
An N-Joyably Cringeworthy Moment
Poor Jake Hamilton. All he was trying to do was interview Jackson about the Quentin Tarantino film “Django Unchained.” That’s when Jackson put Hamilton in a supremely uncomfortable position, urging him to utter a vile racial slur.
After Hamilton brought up the controversy surrounding the film’s use of “the N-word,” Jackson put his interviewer on the hot seat.
“No? Nobody? None? The world would be ..?” Jackson tormented. “Have you ever said it? Try it. Try it!”
Jackson then threatened to not continue with the interview until Hamilton dropped an N-bomb. No doubt the interviewer was intimately acquainted with another N-word — namely, nervous — at that moment.
Avengers, Assemble! (And Complain About Negative Reviews!)
Jackson apparently hates negative reviews as much as he hates people blurting out the word, “What?” (For those who haven’t seen “Pulp Fiction,” that’s a lot.) Jackson spit venom at New York Times critic A.O. Scott, after Scott gave “The Avengers” a so-so review, calling it “a snappy little dialogue comedy dressed up as something else, that something else being a giant A.T.M. for Marvel and its new studio overlords, the Walt Disney Company.”
Scott’s review inspired Jackson to fire up his Twitter account, telling his fans that Scott needs to find a new job — because he’s incompetent at his current profession.
“#Avengers fans, NY Times critic AO Scott needs a new job! Let’s help him find one! One he can ACTUALLY do!” Jackson wrote.
Jackson’s “Sleep”-y Bedtime Story on ‘Letterman’
Most people opt for “Green Eggs and Ham” or maybe “Goodnight Moon” when they reach for a bedtime story on the bookshelf. Not Samuel L. Jackson, who delivered an impassioned reading of the Adam Mansbach book “Go the F— to Sleep” on “Late Show With David Letterman.” No, this isn’t an attack on the media, but it is nonetheless intense.
Good luck getting to sleep, kiddies, after Uncle Sam menaces you with his profanity-laden tale.
See video: Samuel L. Jackson: ‘I Am Quitting Acting’
“X”-ing Out the Family Skeletons
Jackson’s tense relationship with the media took a turn for the bawdy in 2010, when his daughter appeared in a porn video for adult-entertainment giant Vivid.
Jackson was apparently so distressed by his offspring’s new career path that his friends made an effort to buy up all copies of the vide … oh, wait, that actually was Fisburne. Curse you, Sam Rubin; see what you’ve done?!!?