On A Fanboy Planet:
An Intimate Conversation With Samuel L. Jackson
Comic-Con, Fanboy Planet was one of a few selected outlets
to sit down at roundtable interviews with people attached
to the upcoming release, Snakes On A Plane.
violinists came by to serenade us...
if you don't know anything about this movie, it's because
fear of snakes has paralyzed you and kept you from looking
on the web or opening a magazine. It's everywhere.
today begins the first part of the transcriptions of our
conversations -- beginning with the man himself, Samuel
L. Jackson. We were not, however, allowed to gather photographic
evidence, so you'll have to settle for Mark Teague's artistic
rendition of my conversation with Mr. Jackson -- and the
sound files you can download.
and trust me. Any questions that seem to have annoyed Mr.
Jackson -- they're mine. All mine.
How's it feel to be at Comic-Con?
L. Jackson: Like I'm at a junket. It's not like I can
go down there on the floor and engage.
Well, you could go down dressed as Mace Windu and walk around
and see how long it would take anybody to figure out.
L. Jackson: See how far I get doing that.
What attracted you to this film? What appealed to you?
L. Jackson: It had nothing to do with the title. My
first awareness of this film was Ronny Yu was going to do
it. I saw it in the trades, "Ronny Yu to direct Snakes
on a Plane." So I e-mailed Ronny to say, "what is this?
Is this the horror movie you were talking about doing?"
said, "yep." So I said "okay, I want to be in it." He said
"For real?" "Well, yeah."
he told New Line and New Line called my agent, and my agent
said "I don't know." And my manager said, yeah, he'll probably
of a sudden I was attached. As things happened, Ronny ended
up not doing the picture, but I'm still here. So yeah, I
hadn't seen a script. All I knew was the concept.
What were your feelings when all that changed? When you
finally got a director and you finally got a script?
L. Jackson: It didn't matter. It was what I thought
it was. As long as it was what I thought it was going to
be, it was fine. That movie that I used to leave home on
Saturday afternoon to see so I could scream real loud and
yell and freak my friends out and do stuff in it. It was
all about a Saturday afternoon excitement film.
This has become a real internet phenomenon. Have people
been sending you pictures and video over email?
L. Jackson ran the ratings board,
THIS would be the poster.
Courtesy of Snakesonablog.com
L. Jackson: I go on YouTube every day, Snakesonablog,
see what's new. Yeah, I keep up.
Do you have any favorites?
L. Jackson: I'm digging "Someone Tell Sam Jackson He's
My Bro." I like that song. I sing it a lot.
What was your experience like working with the snakes? How
much preparation did you have to do?
L. Jackson: None. I mean, I walked into the snake room
some days and just looked around at 'em, but other than
that, I didn't see 'em. Snakes were on the second unit.
agent was insistent (assumes prissy voice), "no snakes
within twenty feet of Sam."
care. In the beginning they were talking about having rattlesnakes
with the venom sacs taken out of them. "Oh, hell, no." That
don't work for me.
don't have a fear of snakes or anything like that. I grew
up in the country. When I was a kid, if we saw a snake,
the snake was in a lot more trouble than we were. We'd chase
it. Catch it. Beat it with a stick.
'em. I had no problem with that. I had snakes draped all
over me the other day when we were doing a photo shoot.
Originally this movie was PG-13, then after New Line saw
all this hype…
L. Jackson Yeah, somebody woke up.
L. Jackson: "Wait a minute…it's a better film…" I mean,
come on. It makes no sense to make a film like this, in
this day and age, and shoot it like it's a 1960's horror
movie. Or cowboy movie. Or anything where a snake strikes
somebody offscreen and you come back on going (holds
wounded arm) "oh! Oh, my gawd…"
violinists came by to serenade us...
on. You've got the capability of showing snakes striking
people, so do it.
certain things that are requirements for horror films. If
two people go into the bathroom to join the Mile High Club,
you gotta see …the girl's breasts. That's part of what people
paid their money for.
If you watch any film about kids who are out in the woods
having sex, or kids in a haunted house having sex, or kids
in a car having sex, you gotta see that breast -- that gratuitous
breast - before the killer shows up.
It just so happens that this is a snake. Gotta see a snake
on a tit!
pretty much loses it)
That will be in video stores later.
L. Jackson: That'll be the porn version of the movie.
Snakes on a tit.
Two, in which he discusses the movie itself, and defends
his choice to be in it.