Samuel L. Jackson once ended an interview by saying, “There’s more than one black guy.”
Samuel L. Jackson is a living legend with many iconic roles in his filmography. But even he is sensitive to an embarrassing case of mistaken identity during an interview. He might have been offended, given the racial implications. But the actor saw the comedy in the situation and played it in the most charming way possible.
Samuel L. Jackson was confused for another black actor during an interview
In 2014, Jackson appeared on an episode of KTLA Morning News with their entertainment reporter Sam Rubin. During their chat (via Ms. Mojo,) Rubin asked Jackson about his recent Super Bowl commercial. Except he wasn’t in a Super Bowl commercial that year — however, Laurence Fishburne was. Jackson leaned into the embarrassment of the moment, pointing out Rubin’s mistake without making him feel bad.
” Oh no ! Really?” he said in his characteristic voice. “I’m the other guy, the other one. There’s more than one black guy doing a commercial. wallet?” Black guy. He’s the black car guy. Morgan Freeman is the other Black credit card.
Despite his laughter, Rubin was clearly embarrassed by his mistake, slapping himself as Jackson clowned him for his ignorance.
Jackson went on several interviews in the months following the KTLA interview to find new ways to poke fun at the fiasco.
The first was the video above with Rotten Tomatoes, where presenter Grae Drake pretends to confuse Jackson with Fishburne, Cuba Gooding Jr., Urkel and Sidney Poitier before realizing who she’s talking to.
Jackson also spoke about the incident on The Graham Norton Show. Apparently he and Fishburne have been dealing with it for decades. “He and I stood together when people came up to him and started talking about pulp Fiction,” he says.
A producer even thought Jackson was Fishburne when he auditioned for Jules Winnfield. Jackson still got the part and then took his chance to get revenge on the anonymous producer. “I had the privilege of firing that producer from another film four years later. It was pretty good!”
Jackson is one of the easiest stars to make this mistake
Jackson could have made Rubin’s job untenable had he reacted differently to the error. He’s lucky that, despite all of Jackson’s accomplishments, the actor never took himself seriously.
From his fun t-shirts (including one he made after the KTLA interview, which read “I’m not Laurence Fishburne”) to his project choices, Jackson clearly enjoys having a good time. He even has a clause in his contracts that he can play golf while filming.
This kind of thing only comes with a lot of weight. It helps that Jackson is well past the point where a mistake like mistaken identity could affect his reputation or future roles. These days, it’s even more unlikely that anyone doesn’t know who the Marvel actor is. But if they didn’t, Jackson would probably laugh it off.
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