“It’s not crazy, blatant racism”: Samuel L. Jackson Found Inspiration in Turning a Detestable Character Into an “Intensely Troubled Man”

Samuel L. Jackson Despises the Cozy Ending to His $44.8 Million Film as Life Has Other Plans

Samuel L. Jackson Found Inspiration in Turning a Detestable Character Into an “Intensely Troubled Man”


  • Samuel L. Jackson comes up with ways to make his character more layered.
  • Samuel L. Jackson's Abel Turner was a tricky individual because viewers can't interpret his next move.
  • Samuel L. Jackson did not like following traditional norm of giving closure because it doesn't happen in real life.
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Watching Samuel L. Jackson’s performance is extremely entertaining as the veteran actor knows how to portray his roles in an intriguing and authentic manner. As a result, he is one of the most renowned actors in the world, that people can recognize in an instant. Throughout his acting career, Jackson has appeared in over 100 projects, and a majority of them are smash-hit blockbusters. One of the key traits that made him stand out from a sea of actors is that he is unapologetically expletive in almost all of his appearances.

Samuel L. Jackson
Samuel L. Jackson

While Samuel L. Jackson uses profane language in his roles, there’s one character that Samuel L. Jackson has gone out of his way to make people like. The role was difficult because he had to make the audience believe that his character was much more than a racist. The Pulp Fiction actor’s portrayal in Lakeview Terrace was much more complex, as he had to make people believe that it was much more than a mere racial drama.

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 Can Make a Loathsome Man into a Fan-Favorite Character

Samuel L. Jackson gave a lasting performance in the 2008 drama film, Lakeview Terrace. He portrayed the character of Abel Turner, a cop who takes his duties to maintain law and order in a very serious manner. However, in the film, he has been showcased as a man who is extremely racist and would not mind harassing other people through his racial slurs. 

Samuel L. Jackson as Abel Turner in Lakeview Terrace
Samuel L. Jackson as Abel Turner in Lakeview Terrace

During an exclusive interview with The Guardian, Samuel L. Jackson talks about the character from the 2008 film, where one would merely assume that his character was a bullying racist. The actor mentions how his character had some rules that he follows and he believes that everyone must follow them to live a good life.

“Well, the first thing is that Abel is more than that,’ he replies, fixing me with a withering look that suggests I have misread the film’s subtext. ‘It’s not crazy, blatant racism. He’s an intensely troubled man who has a set of rules that he lives by and expects everyone else to live by. That’s his strength and his weakness.”

A still from Lakeview Terrace
A still from Lakeview Terrace

The actor added that he combined Abel Turner with some sense of humor, and how he added the right personality so that it would make him a “tricky individual.”


Right off, I knew he had to have a sense of humour so that you can relate to him on some level even though he is a detestable kind of guy. There’s a personality in there that can be disarming just with a smile, but then before you know it, he’s said or done something that makes you want to go have a shower. He’s a tricky individual.”

While the Spiral actor did an outstanding role in playing the layered character, he mentions how he was not comfortable with the ending of the film which made him disappointed with the final moments of the movie.

Also Read: “This is my dark movie and I’m going to make it”: Martin Scorsese Nearly Directed Steven Spielberg’s Most Personal Movie That Had Liam Neeson’s Greatest Performance

Samuel L. Jackson Criticises Lakeview Terrace’s Ending

In the same interview with The Guardian, the Jackie Brown actor states how he does not like to go with traditional norms of society, which mentions that the film must have a happy ending. He firmly believes that life does not always give closure, and following this would be more realistic than the ancient norms.

A still from Lakeview Terrace
A still from Lakeview Terrace

“Well, to be truthful, there is a point where that film breaks down,’ he says, shaking his head ruefully, ‘and that’s because there is a studio mechanism and a set of rules that say the audience has to be satisfied in a certain way. The last 20 minutes are problematic because they insist on some kind of closure that, most times, life does not give you. I have a problem with that, but I got to work within those conventions as best I can.”

Even though the actor is in his mid-70s, he is not looking to retire from acting, and he is looking forward to playing more iconic roles that would entertain the audience.

Also Read: James Cameron Was Such a Cinematic Genius He Dreamt Up an Entire $2B Franchise While Under High Fever

Lakeview Terrace can be streamed on Max.


Source: The Guardian


Written by Tushar Auddy

Articles Published: 897

Tushar Auddy, Content Writer. He has been in the entertainment industry for 3 years and is always on the lookout for a captivating story. He is a student of Linguistics and currently pursuing his Master's degree in the same field. He has a passion for literature that runs deep and loves nothing more than getting lost in a novel for hours on end. When he isn't reading, you'll find him capturing the beauty of language.