2018 was quite the year for Marvel. Fans are still reeling from the events of ‘Avengers: Infinity War,’ and are looking forward to the events of ‘Captain Marvel.’ Samuel L Jackson, who is reprising his role as Nick Fury in the film, sat down for an interview to talk about all things Fury!
Most notably, he spoke about the character’s origins, and how he fits into the Marvel Universe. Jackson also gives a little insight into what it is like to appear in a female-led film. Read on for some excerpts from the interview. ‘Captain Marvel’ is set to hit theaters on March 8.
Question: When you first played Nick Fury, did you ever think you’d get to explore his backstory like you are in this one and what is that like for you?
Question: Have you enjoyed it?
Question: Have you enjoyed getting to explore the character’s origins a little bit more?
Jackson: Yeah. We always do. We always… look forward to figuring out stuff that people don’t know or might not understand or the, I guess the evolution of Nick Fury from desk jockey to Director of SHIELD. It’s kind of fun.
Question: From what we just learned about the character in this film, it sounds like he’s kind of in a just he doesn’t know his place in the world. Like, the Cold War is over. Haven’t reached the–
Jackson: He totally knows his place in the world.
Question: Oh he does, okay. Oh, then what’s his place in the world?
Jackson: Yeah. I mean, his job right now, his place in the world is to find out where the next enemy’s coming from. And like most sane human beings with a job like that, you figure the next enemy is some other country or somewhere else. And all of a sudden he discovers something that we speculate about and now we know it’s, well he knows it’s true that there other beings in the universe, not just us. The next problem will be convincing everybody else that’s true.
Question: What is the aspect of Nick, this Nick, that’s the most different from the one that we’ve seen.
Jackson: He’s younger.
Question: Is it just age or is there–?
Jackson: Yeah, about 30 years younger. And not as jaded about the world yet. He hasn’t grown into his cynicism quite yet.
Question: How do you describe Fury’s relationship with Carol?
Jackson: Like most people, you meet somebody, you theoretically surmise that they’re from outer space and I guess like most of us the first thing you think about is the difference and she looks like us, yes, but she also showed up with these things that can shapeshift. So is she what she appears to be? Is she a safe individual? Is she a dangerous individual? All those things come to mind.
Spending time with her, he discovers things about her that lead him to believe that she is something other than what she has presented herself to be or even knows herself to be. So during the course of interacting with her, they do become compatriots. They have a shared sense of humor. He’s open to the difference in what she may be and what she may not be. And he’s definitely willing to help her explore what she needs to find out to find out who she is and what and how she came to be.
Question: Can you talk a little bit about what it means to you to be such a big supporting role in the first female-led Marvel superhero movie.
Jackson: No. Does that mean something?
Question: I would certainly say it does. It does to me.
Jackson: Let me think about that. I hadn’t thought of it that way. I thought I was the star. I have a daughter and I have a wife who feels undervalued. Because she is a Black woman, she is in this business and she’s been in this business longer than I have. She was a professional actor when she was a kid and doing all this stuff. And she’s a specific body type and a specific… skin tone. Which is not the preferred skin tone of this business basically. I mean, Viola Davis is the biggest dark skinned star. And… being able to uplift women in a very specific way,
I grew up in a house full of women. Who always made me feel special. And made me tow a specific line. I understand a lot about who they are and what they felt just because I heard it. And I had to experience it every day. How hard the world is for women specifically. And I guess as I got older because my world was specifically Black and White when I grew up, ’cause I grew up in segregation. So I didn’t talk to White women, ’cause I didn’t know any. So I only talked to Black women, so I know what their worldview was and what it meant. And it wasn’t until I got older that I realized that White women might be as beat down as we were in a specific way.
And to work with Brie who has a very political aware sense of self, who not afraid to use her platform to push female agendas has been a real joy. This is my third movie with her. I did Kong with her, so we went all over the world. And then I did her movie, Unicorn Store. And to be a part of this specific story where she has such an enormous responsibility, especially in the success of the Marvel Universe and what it means every time there’s a Marvel film.
And to look at what happened last year with ‘Wonder Woman,’ DC almost figured it out with that movie. To know what’s going to happen when this movie does actually hit theaters for women and little girls are going to be amazing. Just because of who she is and what her understanding of her responsibility to not the male audience, but the female audience that’s coming to this film. To be able to be alongside her, support her and to give her what she needs to be this strong character questing for self-identity, number one. And once she realizes what her power is and how she wills it has been a real honor for me. ‘Cause I want Brie to succeed in a very real, very strong way.
And… to have the opportunity to come into this particular place where they actually know how to do this. They figured it out. There’s a Marvel playbook that works. I mean, as out of the box that people think Black Panther was, it’s part of the Marvel playbook. It just happened to have Black people in it. And this is a Marvel movie being made through the Marvel playbook and it just happens to be a strong female character in it. And it will hopefully incite people the way Black Panther incited us racially when we saw it. So I’m really proud to be part of it.
Click here for the full interview!