Belfast Telegraph

Samuel L. Jackson praises women

Samuel L. Jackson is in awe of Sir Sidney Poitier, the first black actor to win an Oscar.

The 65-year-old actor has become one of the most successful names in the industry since his film debut in 1972's Together for Days, and now boasts a BAFTA win and an Academy Award nomination.

Speaking about how he has grown and developed as an individual over the years, Sam cites his spouse LaTanya Richardson among the many ladies who have taught him valuable life lessons.

"I've been shaped by a lot of women. Honestly. When you come down to it. Between my grandmother, my aunt, my mom, whole bunch of schoolteachers that I had. Then I met my wife, who I've been with for forty-some years. And now my daughter has some part in that," he explained to the October issue of America's Esquire. "Some hard lessons. Some gentle lessons. I learned to hear what people were saying and not to talk while they were talking so I wouldn't miss any of that message. The whole thing was: keep your mouth shut and listen. So I learned to listen."

Once Sam moved into movies, it was one gentleman in particular who left him in awe. That man was 87-year-old Sir Sidney Poitier, KBE, who became the first black star to win an Oscar for his role in Lilies of the Field.

"When I got to Hollywood, I was at my agent's house at a party and I was walking by a sofa and I heard somebody go, 'Sam, come here.' I stopped. And it was Sidney Poitier. And I was like, I didn't even know he knew my name," Sam recalled.

"He pulled me over, I sat down, and I talked to him for a while. He told me, 'Call me tomorrow, we're going to play golf.' I called and we played golf. And talked about Hollywood, the business. And now when I see him, it's the same thing. It's like, 'God, I'm actually friends with Sidney Poitier.'"

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From Belfast Telegraph