Film & TV

What Samuel L. Jackson Learned from Working With Quentin Tarantino

Written by MasterClass

Sep 4, 2019 • 2 min read

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Samuel L. Jackson Teaches Acting

Samuel L. Jackson has worked with Quentin Tarantino more than he’s worked with any other director, from Pulp Fiction to Jackie Brown to Django Unchained. Jackson says that he and Tarantino have a lot in common and relate to each other in a lot of different ways. They are both only children, for example. And another, perhaps more important similarity: they both love Asian cinema and grew up watching the same movies.

“There’s just something very natural in our connection in terms of his art and my talent that mesh in a beautiful and wonderful and creative, joyous, ecstatic, orgasmic kinda way,” Jackson says.



What Samuel L. Jackson Learned from How Quentin Tarantino Runs His Sets

Jackson says that Tarantino’s sets are some of the friendliest that he’s worked on, for a few reasons:

  • There’s a ban on electronics on set. Jackson says that any personal device with an on/off switch is not allowed on a Tarantino set—everyone has to leave their phones and non-work-related electronic devices in a phone station away from the set. That means that when Tarantino says “Cut!” nobody can immediately look down at their phones like they do on other sets. Instead, everyone is willing to chat with other crew members and get to know people.
  • There’s music during setup. Tarantino will also have music playing during set up. Jackson says that this encourages people to sing and dance—it loosens people up and lets them feel friendlier with the other crew members.
  • There is plenty of storytelling in between shoots. Tarantino will also tell stories in between shoots. Jackson says he’ll chat about the movie and draw people into a conversation about it—for instance, saying, “If I had cast this movie in 1950, this is who would be in the movie." Not only do conversations like these encourage crew members to think creatively about the project they’re working on, but they also make the movie set light and friendly.

Jackson says that the result of Tarantino’s methods is a film set that’s as inclusive as possible. It changes the tone of the workday and helps everyone feel like they’re a part of the project. He says that Tarantino sets are a great place to be.

In Jackson’s words, “Everybody knows that my job is no more important than yours—and we're all here to do this together.”

Want to Become a Better Actor?

Whether you’re treading the boards or prepping for your next big role in a film or television series, making it in showbusiness requires plenty of practice and a healthy dose of patience. No actor knows this better than the legendary Samuel L. Jackson, who has acted in over 100 films to date, from Pulp Fiction to The Avengers. In his acting MasterClass, the Oscar-nominated star shares how he creates memorable characters, powerful performances, and a long-lasting career.

Want to become a better actor? The MasterClass All-Access Pass provides exclusive video lessons from master actors, including Samuel L. Jackson, Helen Mirren, Natalie Portman, and more.



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