Describing Samuel L. Jackson as a successful actor would be underappreciating his stellar works in the film industry. The award-winning, age-defying star has spent years in the acting scene as Hollywood’s most commercially successful celebrity.
Jackson, who turned 73 in December 2022, has featured in more than 125 films throughout his illustrious career. Altogether his array of acting credits has grossed more than ten billion dollars at the global box office, setting a record that another Hollywood actor may never surpass.
Sadly, old age catches up with everyone, a fact which is not lost on Jackson. The actor recently admitted that his body is slowly going through its natural deterioration process while discussing his latest Apple TV+ series that centers on Alzheimer’s and its effects.
‘The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey’
In a chat with U.K.’s i news, Jackson discussed his latest project, “The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey,” where he stars as a nonagenarian suffering dementia-associated effects of Alzheimer’s. The actor, who is just two decades from catching up with his character’s age, alluded to this similarity in the interview.
“I’m getting older every day,” Jackson told the news outlet. “I’m kind of old. I know a lot about getting old! I have been around for a while.”
The new Apple TV+ series is based on a Walt Mosley novel of the same name and would chronicle the quest of Jackson’s character to investigate the death of his cousin after he gets an opportunity to regain his memories for a short while.
All six episodes have been given a title, with the first dubbed as “Reggie” and the finale as “Ptolemy.” Dominique Fishback, Walton Goggins, Marsha Stephanie Blake, Damon Gupton, Cynthia McWilliams, Omar Benson Miller, Maury Ginsberg, and JoAnn Willette will also feature in the show.
Samuel L. Jackson Says His Family Inspired The Film
Compared with other past films that have starred Jackson, “The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey” seemed like an odd choice for the actor. However, the Oscar nominee explained that filming the drama series was in response to some of his family members, including his mother and grandfather, falling under the deep-reaching effects of Alzheimer’s in their advanced years.
“As they passed on, I just became more determined to tell this story and get it out there,” he stated. “And make sure people understand that the people they loved are still there, inside that person, so you can’t throw them away. You have to care for them and love them as if they’re still contributing to your life.”
While “The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey” might seem like a cinematic ode to Alzheimer’s dementia, Jackson revealed that the project was beyond that, adding that there is a sci-fi angle to the series as well as a detective-like plot in line with the show’s book origin.
Jackson Is Returning To Broadway
Jackson said that he worries about developing Alzheimer’s disease in the future, but he’s doing everything he can to forestall any loss of his abilities. The actor then revealed his forthcoming return to Broadway since his last stage feature in 2011.
“I don’t know if I’m as facile as I used to be in terms of learning that much dialogue. Knowing that I can get up every day, regurgitate dialogue and do all this stuff helps me fight off the fear of genetically being caught up in everything my parents and grandparents were,” Jackson disclosed.
As per his interview with UK’s i news, the actor understands that committing his lines to memory would need much more dedication than the usual requirement of his blockbuster features. The “Pulp Fiction” star will star alongside Danielle Brooks and John David Washington in the Broadway reboot of August Wilson’s award-winning play “The Piano Lesson.”
Samuel L Jackson Is Yet To Win An Oscar
Jackson has surprisingly fallen short of winning the Oscars despite his array of acting credits and standing in the film industry. The closest he came to the prize was in 1994’s “Pulp Fiction,” portraying Jules Winnfield, a wig-wearing, religious hitman and partner in crime to John Travolta’s Vincent Vega.
While Jackson will receive an Honorary Oscar this month, canceling out his loss to Martin Landau, who won for Tim Burton’s “Ed Wood,” the iconic actor still feels that “Pulp Fiction” should have bested the eventual winner at the 1994 edition of the award ceremony.
In an interview with The Sunday Times, Jackson said he “should have won that one,” referring to his “Pulp Fiction” character. He further narrated his surprise that Denzel Washington got nominated for his antagonist feature in “Training Day” instead of his titular role in “Malcolm X,” also alluding that the Oscars were biased towards a movie’s popularity.
The first and second episodes of “The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey” dropped on March 11th, with the next episode coming on March 18th.