One key takeaway from last month's New York Times Magazine profile of Samuel L. Jackson was that he puts his all into even unimportant roles, but a Tuesday story about a lawsuit over one of his movies shows even the great actor sometimes phones it in. At least when he does voiceover work, Jackson testified, he doesn't tend to watch the documentary films he's made.
Pat Jordan's Times Magazine feature dwelled on how thoroughly Jackson throws himself into his roles: "He invests the bittiest of bit parts with something electric to rivet an audience’s attention," Jordan wrote, and "he expects the same level of professionalism from his colleagues."
But when giving evidence in a lawsuit by "Soul Man" singer Sam Moore (or Sam & Dave) over the 2008 film Soul Men, in which Jackson starred with Bernie Mac, Jackson found himself in an uncomfortable situation over his habit of skipping screenings, reports The Hollywood Reporter's Eriq Gardner:
Depositions were taken, and in the case of Jackson, interrogated hard. The actor testified, among other things, that he didn't base his dancing moves on “Sam & Dave” dancing moves, which were previously shown in a PBS documentary that he once narrated—which he didn't actually view, as was his customary practice.
The Weinstein Company, which made the film, eventually won the lawsuit. But at least now we know that the hardest working man in show business sometimes cuts a corner or two.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.