Samuel L. Jackson has had a long and storied career, for which he was honored Sunday night at the BET Awards -- and Jackson opened up to ET's Kevin Frazier on the silver carpet about the one role that started everything for him.
"Jungle Fever changed everything for me for real," Jackson said, referring to the 1991 Spike Lee-directed film about an interracial romance. In the film, Jackson played the drug addicted brother of Wesley Snipes. "That got me into Hollywood and it was a wonderful opportunity to start something. It was a very cathartic change in my life and it was the first thing I did without a substance in my body and I've been pretty much clean ever since and ascending, so it's been fine."
WATCH: 'Hateful Eight' Star Samuel L. Jackson Votes For Himself During Awards Season
The Hateful Eight actor also talked about what being honored with the BET Lifetime Achievement Award meant to him.
"You get a lifetime achievement award, means I've made a mark in this business. I entertained a lot of people, which is important -- and it's great to be recognized by my peers, my people," he said.
But there'll be no resting on his laurels for the 67-year-old. "My thirst for creativity doesn't change," he said. "I'm like singers who get up and sing every day, write music, painters who get up and paint, I want to get up and act every day. There's only a limited number of acting opportunities in everybody's life. I want to make sure I get all mine."
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Hopefully there'll be many more!
Last December ET caught up with Jackson about his role in the Hateful Eight, where he revealed his awards-season strategy of voting for himself. Find out more in the video below.