Samuel L Jackson is one of the most iconic actors in Hollywood today, starring in box office hits such as: Jurassic Park, Pulp Fiction, Die Hard, Star Wars, shaft, Kill Bill: Volume 2, Django Unchained, and The Avengers just to name a few. Sam L takes on all genres, from action, to drama to dark comedy. According to Box Office Mojo, he has the highest gross-film total of all time, at 5 billion dollars across all of his films, averaging $70 million gross, per film. He is easily one of the most recognizable faces in Hollywood, but the story of how he overcame his biggest obstacles is less known. These 3 quotes by Samuel L Jackson help tell that story, and in his own words, will shed some hope as to how he turned the dark into light.
“I never had one beer. If I bought a six-pack of beer, I kept drinking till all six beers were gone. You have to have that kind of understanding about yourself. I haven’t had a drink now in 12 years.”
Many do not know the demons that have tormented him in the past. Samuel L Jackson used to be an alcoholic. Addiction is something that a staggering amount of people suffer from. Be it drugs, cigarettes, gambling, or alcohol. However, as the iconic actor admits, its only through honest introspection that one can admit that one’s addiction is to their detriment.
“I guess the worst day I have had was when I had to stand up in rehab in front of my wife and daughter and say “Hi, my name is Sam and I am an addict.”
When we are unable to take an introspective look at our character, we may find ourselves needing help and there is nothing wrong with that. In Jackson’s case, it was a turning point. It was the point of critical mass, when the pain within him was so great, that he had to draw the line. When he had to say enough is enough. Through introspection and honest evaluation, it is possible to overcome your demons and negative predilections. However this can only be done, again, with honesty and self-acceptance.
“I understood, through rehab, things about creating characters. I understood that creating whole people means knowing where we come from, how we can make a mistake and how we can overcome things to make ourselves stronger.”
Samuel L Jackson is able to portray such complex characters, by channeling the past experiences that he has been through to recreate himself on screen. He is a testament to the fact that addictions can be conquered and even harnessed to produce something spectacular; we can all recall his passionate and expert performance as Jules Winnfield in Pulp Fiction. And considering his level of introspection and self-awareness it is no wonder he is able to create such compelling characters.
What we can all learn from Samuel L Jackson is that if we are able to take an honest and brutal look at ourselves, and accept ourselves as we are, then we can harness and distill our flaws. We can turn our weaknesses into our greatest strengths and find renewed purpose in life, and we can use our past to fuel our futures. Sometimes that fuel may just be enough to propel us into the stratosphere, as has been the case for Samuel L Jackson.
Author Bio: Hassan Abdul
Hassan Abdul is a student of Philosophy from Queen’s University. He is an avid student of self-improvement and self-empowerment. Additionally he is a sports fanatic, with a primary love of soccer and Real Madrid and Football and the Baltimore Ravens. His hobbies include cycling, meditation, watching any type of sporting event, and reading or debating about Philosophical concepts.