If you're making resolutions for the New Year, here's one you mayyyyyybe want to scratch off the old life list: don't go trying to put Samuel L. Jackson in the hot seat regarding the use of a certain word in one of his movies. Because I've seen awkward interviews, and this one transcends them all. It's so wildly uncomfortable it's almost a thing of beauty. In fact, I halfway suspect that Quentin Tarantino directed this interview between Jackson and film critic Jake Hamilton.
See, Hamilton thought he'd ask Samuel Jackson about the controversy surrounding "the usage of the N-word" in this movie -- and if he was hoping Jackson would lean forward, nod encouragingly, and share some gritty actor's commentary on social standards and historical accuracy, BOY was he wrong.
If you want to see Samuel L. Jackson turn a reporter from movie critic to a writhing pile of get-me-out-of-here-please in 15 seconds flat, you'll want to see this.
Hamilton starts by bringing up the prevalence of the slur in the movie (it's said more than 100 times by various characters), but Jackson doesn't let him get too far because he demands that Hamilton stop saying "the N-word" and, you know, say the actual word.
Hamilton refuses, but Jackson insists, before thundering into full Strike Down Upon Thee With Great Vengeance and Furious Anger Sam Jackson Mode: "TRY IT! We're not gonna have this conversation unless you say it."
Here's the clip -- go ahead and fast-forward to around 13:55:
I feel for Jake Hamilton, I really do. There's no WAY I could have said it either -- hell, I'm not even going to type it, and that would be about a thousand times less awful than saying in front of Samuel Jackson's face -- but he was clearly hoping to put Jackson in a position of defending his right to be in a movie that features the word, and instead ended up proving that the word is so powerful and loaded, it's downright impossible to have a discussion about whether or not it should EVER be said, or by whom.
Hamilton gave up on the topic, but stuck to his guns that it was "a great question." Jackson's unamused response? "It wasn't a great question if you can't say the word."
What do you think of the way Samuel Jackson flipped this interview? Was he unfair to that reporter?
Image via YouTube