EXCLUSIVE: Samuel L. Jackson Clarifies Black British Actor Casting Comments After John Boyega Fires Back
By Alex Ungerman
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Samuel L. Jackson doesn't have a problem with black British actors.
The Kong: Skull Island star spoke to ET's Cameron Mathison at the film's Los Angeles premiere on Wednesday, where he clarified his recent comments about Jordan Peele's critically acclaimed horror-comedy movie Get Out, and how the film would have been different had it had an American lead actor been cast as opposed to British actor, Daniel Aluuya.
"You listen to the conversation, it becomes a different thing," the 68-year-old actor explained. "I totally respect and love all those U.K. guys that come over here and work."
"I understand that coming here gives them a unique opportunity to advance their careers, and hopefully go back home and create opportunities for their friends and other guys, and let them know that they can come here, and they can succeed," he added.
"As far as... talking about Get Out, I've known Daniel for a very long time," Jackson continued, noting, "I knew Daniel when he was a young writer-actor in the U.K. ... "I literally introduced him to his agent."
The Pulp Fiction star then put to rest the idea that there's any bad blood between himself and black British actors.
"I'm looking forward to y'all coming over here, hopefully I'll run into y'all on set somewhere," he said. "We can talk it out, we can work it out, it's all good."
During the radio interview with Hot 97, Jackson noted, "There are a lot of black British actors in these movies ... I tend to wonder what that movie [Get Out] would have been with an American brother who really feels that."
The comments are particularly topical for that movie, which explores the issue of racism and tension in America as an over-arching theme.
“Daniel grew up in a country where they’ve been interracial dating for a hundred years,” Jackson argued. “What would a brother from America have made of that role? Some things are universal, but [not everything].”
Jackson then went on to discuss David Oyelowo's casting as Martin Luther King, Jr. in Selma.
“There are some brothers in America who could have been in that movie who would have had a different idea about how King thinks,” the actor pointed out.
"They’re cheaper than us, for one thing. They don’t cost as much," Jackson speculated for why so many of these roles go to British actors. "And they [casting agents and directors] think they’re better trained, because they’re classically trained."
Shortly after his comments, British Star Wars Episode VIII: The Force Awakens star, John Boyega, took to Twitter, writing, "Black brits vs African American. A stupid ass conflict we don't have time for."