Samuel L. Jackson, at some point, went beyond being just a beloved actor and became a force of pop culture. Find us another actor who turned an airplane edit designed to cut profanity into a meme, which is from a movie that became a meme almost entirely because he happened to be in it. That’s what happens when you have more than thirty years and 100 roles under your belt, we suppose, but when asked to pick his favorite role, Jackson’s choice is a bit of a welcome surprise. And no, it’s not “Black Guy” from Sea Of Love.
The Undefeated asked Jackson to pick his top twenty roles, and the whole article is worth a read for his sometimes surprising choices. He might be one of the only people who fondly remembers The 51st State, for example. But his number one role, it turns out, is The Long Kiss Goodnight, a movie that twenty years later, he’s still annoyed got mismarketed:
The studio didn’t know how to market that film because they didn’t know that women like seeing themselves as badasses. I kept saying, ‘You need to advertise this thing during the day when women are watching soaps.’ Whatever. They were like, ‘I don’t know what you’re talking about.’
If you’re somehow unfamiliar with this movie despite our relentless Shane Black stanning, the movie follows Geena Davis’ amnesiac single-mom schoolteacher, who washed up pregnant on a New Jersey beach nearly a decade before. She’s been searching for her past, hiring private eyes, including the mildly sleazy Mitch Hennessey (Jackson), and after a concussion, finds she’s a CIA assassin with other assassins on her trail. Think the Bourne movies, but far less pompous. Really, in a just world, we’d have six movies of Geena Davis kicking ass, but hey, better one than none.
(via The Undefeated)