Samuel L Jackson - Samuel L Jackson Talks Django Unchained and being the "most despised Negro in cinematic history"
Even before Quentin Tarantino's new movie, Django Unchained, hit, there were controversies. It's a dark comedy-western centred on slavery in the pre-civil war South, so it was never going to be innocuous.
Stephen - Samuel L Jackson's character - is possibly as evil as they come in the film, despite the fact that he too is a slave. Talking to MTV, Jackson opened up on taking the part: "Years ago, I would have said I was going to be the hero or Django, but [Tarantino] took too long to write it," he said. "When he sent it to me, he said read the role of Stephen. I read it and was like, 'Oh, you really want me to be the most despised Negro in cinematic history?' 'Well, yeah.' 'OK, I'm down. Let's do it.' "
Putting the nature of Jackson's character to one side, there were still the physical implications to consider. Samuel L is old, but he's not that old, and Stephen required a fair bit of tinkering to hair, makeup and mannerisms to get right, as he explains: "We finally narrowed it down to about four things, so when I got to New Orleans, we tested all four things. None of them worked separately, so we started to mix and match the pieces until we found the perfect match of all of them that would be efficient for everyday application."