“I’m not as angry as I used to be”: Samuel L. Jackson Regretted Losing Years of His Life To Addiction, Claimed “Nobody knew who I was”

Samuel L. Jackson overcame a disturbing problem with drug abuse and alcoholism to become a superstar In Hollywood

Samuel L. Jackson Regretted Losing Years of His Life To Addiction, Claimed “Nobody knew who I was”


  • Samuel L. Jackson suffered from substance addiction during his early years in Hollywood.
  • The star played a drug addict in Spike Lee’s film Jungle Fever immediately after checking out of rehab.
  • Despite being discouraged from doing the film, Jackson took up the challenge and succeeded.
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Samuel L. Jackson has proved that he is arguably one of the most versatile and commercially successful stars in Hollywood. From career defining roles to blockbuster gigs with iconic franchises like Star Wars and the MCU, Jackson has done the gamut of roles and characters over the years to become one of the most financially bankable actors in the industry.

Samuel L. Jackson
Hollywood star Samuel L. Jackson

The road to superstardom though, was not an easy journey for the Marvel star. Jackson faced many personal challenges on his way to the top, including becoming a victim of alcohol and drugs. In a candid interview back in 2008, the Secret Invasion star spoke of the dark times he endured and his subsequent transformation to become Hollywood royalty.

Also Read: “You’ll never work in this town again”: Samuel L. Jackson Rebelled Against Being Typecast To Becoming the Highest Grossing Actor of All Time


Samuel L. Jackson And His Troubled History With Addiction

Through his on-screen and off-screen persona, Samuel L. Jackson has inspired millions of fans and aspiring artists to take the path of excellence. The Star Wars actor has portrayed a variety of memorable and complex roles that have set high standards in Hollywood. His personal life though, was also as complicated as his characters during his early years. While fame followed him at every step, Jackson was also a victim to some bad decisions in his life which included addiction towards alcohol and drugs during a period that almost ruined him.

Samuel L. Jackson
Samuel L. Jackson suffered from substance abuse before becoming a big star

In an honest interview with The Guardian in 2008, the MCU star spoke candidly about the dark hole he had dug for himself and how these life choices affected him emotionally to the point that he lost his sense of individuality and identity. While Jackson was fortunate to come out of this phase, he remained aware of the triggers that still influenced his emotions.

I’m not as angry as I used to be. But I can get in touch with that anger pretty quickly if I feel my space is being invaded or somebody is not treating me with the respect that I think I want.’

Interestingly, since becoming clean in 1991, Samuel L. Jackson famously played a crack addict in Spike Lee’s Jungle Fever in the same year. This performance started the upward climb for the star who then became a prolific artist of repute.


Also Read: “It’s a cartoon brought to life”: Samuel L. Jackson Couldn’t Refuse Starring in One of the Worst-Rated Comic Book Adaptations to Date

Samuel L. Jackson was Discouraged from Doing Jungle Fever

In 1991, Samuel L. Jackson starred in Spike Lee’s Jungle Fever in which he played a drug addict. Significantly, the film came at a time when the star had just gotten out of rehab after having a tumultuous journey with addiction. The Pulp Fiction actor’s counselors were extremely sceptical about him taking on this role for the fear that the theme would hit too close to home for the celebrity, making him relapse into his addictive ways. Jackson though, was adamant to do the film to prove to himself and to the world that he was stronger in mind and body. Speaking to The Guardian, he said,

“Soon as I read the script, I wanted to do it. Plus by then I was angry at the rehab people. They kept on saying: “Don’t do it, man – you’re going to have pipes in your hand, lighters, all these triggers. You’re going to pick up again and be right back there.” Man, they did not want me to do that movie. In the end, I was like: “I will not pick up again for no other reason than I do not ever want to see you in my life again.”‘

Samuel L. Jackson
Samuel L. Jackson in Jungle Fever

Jackson ended up giving a memorable performance which subsequently led to a bunch of roles that cemented his place as one of the biggest stars in Hollywood.


Also Read: “The frustration almost drove me crazy”: Samuel L. Jackson Drove Himself To Death’s Door After Being Constantly Shunned By Hollywood Despite His Distaste For Actors




Written by Sharanya Sankar

Articles Published: 1053

Sharanya Sankar, Writer for Fandomwire
Having completed her Masters degree in Journalism and Mass Communication, Sharanya has a solid foundation in writing which is also one of her passions. She has worked previously with Book My show for a couple of years where she gained experience reviewing films and writing feature articles. Sharanya’s articles on film and pop culture have also been published on Film Companion, a popular film-based website. Apart from movies and pop culture, her interests include music and sports. She has contributed over 650 articles to Fandomwire so far.