Samuel L. Jackson has had a magnificent career so far, appearing in diverse pictures from Pulp Fiction to Star Wars to Snakes on a Plane. Recently, however, he has been pretty prolific in the Marvel universe, appearing as Nick Fury in six superhero films since 2008 (the first being a post-credits sequence in Iron Man). Many of his Marvel outings, save for perhaps Avengers Assemble, have offered him cameos – albeit very entertaining ones – rather than main roles.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier, however, offers him even greater screen time and a chance for some more dramatic meat to chew on. So did this affect the experience on this picture compared to his others during his time working with Marvel? “I approach all of it the same way”, he says, talking in a surprisingly calm and slow tone compared to the one we are used to hearing onscreen. “You show up, you look at the relationships, what’s going on, take it all serious, and still have as much fun as you can inside of it.”
It certainly looks like he had fun making the film and Captain America: The Winter Soldier certainly shows him getting a more dynamic range of scenes, from emotional, character-driven moments to scenes of intense threat and action. “I’m really glad we saw more of Nick and what happens to him, and how he reacts to situations. As usual, he’s always trying to be three steps ahead and all of a sudden when he finds out he’s been used in another kind of way, incumbent upon him to find out why, and use all the tools that he has at his disposal. As usual, a lot of it has to do with subterfuge and diversion, even down to fooling and hurting his most trusted compatriot [Black Widow, as played by Scarlett Johansson].”
Johansson’s character first appeared with Nick Fury in 2010’s Iron Man 2 and impressed audiences with their great chemistry and working relationship. Captain America: The Winter Soldier develops that relationship further, though apparently some of it may have been left on the cutting-room floor: “we actually shot a scene that’s explained, where we have that moment, but I’ve been told it slows the film down in a significant way, and they didn’t want to slow it down”. So, is there any hope for fans who want to see an apparently moving and important scene between Nick and Black Widow? Jackson offers some reassurance: “when you get the DVD and you click on my face, there is a hidden feature that will allow you to access that scene and you’ll be able to see more of what that means between me and Black Widow”.
The movie also offers audiences the chance to see Nick Fury going about his day-to-day work in a more normal setting. At the start of the movie, the world is – generally – at peace (peaceful as in New York or Greenwich is not currently being destroyed by aliens) and we get to see Fury go about a normal day: “it was a real joy to be able to go into Nick’s workplace and to find out who he is in depth in certain ways. And to expose some of the stuff through conversations that Robert Redford [as Alexander Pierce]and I had in the film”.
The character of Nick Fury will return in further Marvel adventures, including Avengers: Age of Ultron next year. There have been talks about a Nick Fury movie, though the actor has dismissed these as just speculation. Time will tell. For now, there is more than enough to enjoy of Jacksons’s wit and gruff charm in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier is released in UK cinemas on 26 March by Walt Disney Studios.
Barnaby Walter spoke to Samuel L. Jackson at the UK press event of Captain America: The Winter Soldier organised by Walt Disney Studios at The Dorchester Hotel, London. Catch our feature on the press conference, coming soon.
This piece was written for and published in association with The National Student.