The only Oscar that Samuel L. Jackson has ever won is an honorary statue, but the acting icon doesn’t mind, considering he’s spent over 10 years and counting playing the Marvel Cinematic Universe stalwart Nick Fury. As Jackson told the Los Angeles Times, he’d rather make billion dollar-grossing Marvel movies than win Oscars or chase down Oscar-baiting roles.
“As jaded as I wanted to be about it, you know thinking, ‘Well, I should have won an Oscar for this or should have won for that and it didn’t happen,’ once I got over it many years ago, it wasn’t a big deal for me,” Jackson said. “I always have fun going to the Oscars. I always look forward to getting a gift basket for being a presenter. [Laughs] I give stuff to my relatives; my daughter and my wife would take stuff out. It’s cool…But otherwise, I was past it.”
Jackson added, “I was never going to let the Oscars be a measure of my success or failure as an actor. My yardstick of success is my happiness: Am I satisfied with what I’m doing? I’m not doing statue-chasing movies. You know [whispers]: ‘If you do this movie, you’ll win an Oscar.’ No, thanks. I’d rather be Nick Fury. Or having fun being Mace Windu with a lightsaber in my hand.”
That’s not to say Jackson believes he shouldn’t have an acting Oscar under his belt by now. The performer told The Sunday Times in March that he should’ve won the Oscar for supporting actor when he was nominated for his role in Quentin Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction.” Jackson was nominated that year against Martin Landau (“Ed Wood”), Chazz Palminteri (“Bullets Over Broadway”), Paul Scofield (“Quiz Show”) and Gary Sinise (“Forrest Gump”). Landau was awarded the Oscar. Jackson said he also missed out on another Oscar for “Jungle Fever,” for which he wasn’t even nominated.
Speaking to the Los Angeles Times, Jackson said he’s fine with giving up Oscar roles if it means making movies “that people just want to see so they can get out of themselves,” adding, “That’s the guy I chose to be and I’m fine with it. I’m satisfied because that’s who I am. I’m the guy who does the lines that people see on T-shirts. There’s actors who go their whole careers and no one can quote a line they’ve said in a movie. People go to watch my movies to see how crazy I’m going to be or see how many times I say motherfucker. Whatever gets them in the seats.”
Marvel fans will get to Jackson reprise his role of Nick Fury in the upcoming Disney+ series “Secret Invasion.” The show stars Jackson opposite fellow MCU alumni such as Ben Mendelsohn, Cobie Smulders, Martin Freeman and Don Cheadle.