Chapter 15 of 21 from Samuel L. Jackson

Student Session: Making Bold Choices


When it comes to characterization, it’s better to show up with too much rather than not enough. Sam pushes the student actors to take risks and commit to their choices.

Topics include: Bring Everything to the Table

Samuel L. Jackson

Samuel L. Jackson Teaches Acting

One of the most successful actors of our generation teaches you how to elevate your acting.

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Class Info


- You've been resting. Come on. All right? All right. All right. And Axion. - Yo. Yo. Yo. Yo. Yo. Yo. Yo. Yo. So, you, you want to donate to my foundation. Well, you are aware that I, uh, wound things down in that area or whatever, you know? - Well, climate change is, uh, a threat that affects us all, Miss Devere. - No. - And you are one of the most powerful that seems to share my concern. - [LAUGHING] Nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, man. Nah, nah, nah. I shut things down 'cause that shit wasn't going anywhere you know? Every bit of research, it was just in the same direction and whatever. - Mm-hm, that climate-- uh, that carbon emission's a red herring. We're way past the point of no return. And no matter the remedial actions we take-- [LAUGHTER] - Man, you know your shit! You know your shit. Yeah. - Yes. Yes. Uh. I, uh-- I sometimes, uh, envy the blissful ignorance of-- knowing line? MAN: Those less well-versed. - Those less well-versed in their shit. [LAUGHTER] - Ah, yo. - As, uh, Professor Arnold always said, uh, that humankind is a virus that is cursed with the, uh, horrifying knowledge of its host's fragile mortality. - Oh, Professor Arnold, man. Oh, man. You know, not a lot of people knew about that guy. Yo, yo, you like spy movies, Mr. Devere? - Ah, nowadays they're [LAUGHS] way too serious for my taste. But the old ones? - Oh! - Marvelous, yes. Uh, give me a, uh, theatrical plot any day. - Oh, man, those old Bond movies, now that's the shit. - Mm. Mm. - That's what's up. You know, when I was coming up, I, uh-- [LAUGHS] it's kind of embarrassing. I often-- That was my dream job, yo, gentleman spy. Hell yeah. - The old Bond movies, I always thought they're only as good as the villain. As a child, I fancied a future as a colorful megalomaniac. - Well, it's a fucking shame we both had to grow up then, isn't it? Bon appetit, motherfucker. - Very good. Thank you. Awesome. A great-- a great, great, great, great, great contrast there. You committed to something that was perfect, you know, great cover. Who this guy is, you know? You walked into the 'hood finally. [LAUGHTER] Stepped yourself in there, you know? Good. You know, great choices, great, you know, way to make this happen. Wow, how'd you feel about it? - I almost lost it in the middle there because-- - Well, you asked for a line, but, you know. That's why you have, you know, cut. Takes. - Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. - Yeah, but you were in that. I could see you carrying that guy through a whole film, you know. So that when the transition comes in and he does things like that, then it's like, whoa. So good. How'd you feel about Hoody? - It was fun. - You enjoyed it because you didn't think as much this time. WOMAN: Yeah. - You just let it be. - I let it go. - Let it go, be in that. Feel-- feel confident in, you know, the words and the character. That's who he is, ...

Get into Character

As a kid, Samuel L. Jackson stuttered so badly that he stopped talking for almost a year. Today he’s one of the world’s most successful actors, with roles in over 100 films, including Pulp Fiction and The Avengers. For the first time, the Oscar nominated star teaches how he creates memorable characters, powerful performances, and a long-lasting career. Learn to master auditions, analyze scripts, and find the truth in every role you play.

Watch, listen, and learn as Sam teaches his first-ever acting class.

A downloadable workbook accompanies the class with lesson recaps, assignments, and supplemental material.

Upload videos to get feedback from the class. Sam will also answer select student questions.


Samuel L. Jackson

Samuel L. Jackson Teaches Acting