Samuel L Jackson tells us more about his new movie

2017-08-22 11:06
 Samuel L Jackson

Cape Toown - At 68, action superstar Samuel L Jackson shows no signs of slowing down.

In his latest movie, the action comedy The Hitman’s Bodyguard, out now in cinemas, he plays Darius Kincaid, – an unkillable James Bond-style hitman on a mission to take out a Russian dictator (Gary Oldman) who imprisoned his wife, Sonia (the eternally youthful Salma Hayek).

Ryan Reynolds is along for the ride as Darius’ long-time enemy-turned-bodyguard, who is Inexplicably assigned to keep Darius alive.

Sam and Ryan have a blast as on-screen action heroes and, surprisingly, Sam says he sees the movie as “a love story”.

“Having a wife like Sonia and reading [in the script] how he met her and what that all turned to was one of the things that fuelled my thoughts about her. Why is she in jail and why am I taking this risk of turning myself in to let her go [free]?

So it’s a love story. And everything that I am doing, I am doing for love and nothing is going to stop me from doing that.”

We chatted to Sam about his character, Darius, and how he prepares for roles like this one.

What I loved about the film is that even though I know it came from a screenplay, it felt like I was watching a graphic novel adaptation.

I could see why you say that, there are comic books that play out like that, Preacher comes to mind immediately.

How do you prepare for a character like Darius Kincaid and what are his motives for what he does in the film?

The physical characteristics were very important for me, getting those tattoos of crows and ravens. The thing about the crows wasn’t in the movie until I showed up with the crows on and they asked me why and I was like well, these are all the people that I killed. It’s like every time I kill somebody, I get a new raven. And who are all the little ones, I said, well I sprayed a school bus one time, so there are little ravens. So I get the physical things going and then Darius’ devil-may-care kind of personality, because Ryan’s character is kind of straight laced, they have to be polar opposites.

Then, having a wife like Sonia (Salma Hayek), being locked up and reading how he met her and what that all turned to, was one of the things that fueled my thoughts about her. It’s his insight about his ideas about women and romance that informs my relationship with Sonia. Why she is in jail and why I am taking this whole risk of turning myself in, to let her go. So it’s a love story. And everything that I am doing, I am doing for love and nothing is going to stop me from doing that.

But in the meantime, I am here in the car with this dude, who, I have been trying to kill for 18 years. The only time I have been close to him or I have seen him, is through a scope, and all of a sudden here we are together. So I get to find out who this dude really is. Is he the guy I think he is, cool and professional, or is he the asshole that I always thought he was? Then I find out that he has lost some of his status because of something I did, shooting his client, and not even knowing it was his client. When that registers, it’s kind of like, now that I like the dude, I have got to help him get his shit back and help him get his girl, and how he can make this happen.

So it turns to more than just kind of two guys who hate each other being in a car.

How would you describe Kinkaid as a killer and how does he make decisions on the jobs that he will or will not take?

Well I think it all depends on who he is killing, and what their effect is on society and what it means to the world at large.

Cause you do say that these are bad people that you kill as a hitman.

If they are caught by law enforcement, law enforcement is not going to kill them. But bad people hire me to kill bad people. So I am killing people that are worse than people, and who is God actually blaming more, the bad guy who kills people, or the people who protect them. Basically, if we don’t speak or we don’t do or say anything, then we are allowing the bad people to exist. So who is worse, those people or the people that eliminate bad people? So I just take the elimination job.

When you are in a confined space with someone like Ryan, do you learn something from him and how do you play off of each other?

Well I have watched Ryan on screen and I have interacted with him socially, so I think I know what his sensibilities are in terms of his humor. And he is very quick-witted and very wry.

Whose decision was it to up your cussing quota? Because at some point it was like, this is officially a character in a film now, and it made me giggle the whole way through, every time you said something that was nasty.

Well I don’t know if they wanted an R or a PG and you ask those questions early. Because this kind of film doesn’t lend itself to trying to restrict the number of “fucks” that’s in it. So they said just go for it. And I just turned him into that guy. But I like “motherfucker.” (laughs)

Watch the trailer here:

ALSO CHECK OUT: Ryan Reynolds gives us the scoop on his badass new action flick

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