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Samuel L Jackson on 1408

Published June 18, 2007 in Movie Interviews
By Ryan Parsons | Image property of TWC.
Samuel L. Jackson didn’t have much to say about his character in 1408. Maybe because he really only has one dialogue scene, there wasn’t much to give away. But he had definite thoughts on horror, given the increasing intensity of today’s scary movies.

Samuel L. Jackson Talks 1408

“Every generation jumps for different reasons,” said Jackson. “People used to jump for Vincent Price, now they’re jumping for different sh*t. I remember that under your seat, trying to make you think something was there. Or like the ghosts on haunted hill when they ran them on wires in the theater, you were like, ‘Aw, come on!’ But then, it was innovative and awesome. Kids are so movie savvy now. The thought that 15 years ago, people were making snuff films, people were like, ‘Oooh, ahhhh’ and now we’re watching them. You go to the movies and watch them. Kids are special effects savvy; they’re making their own slasher films in what, sixth grade on Photofinish, or whatever.”

Jackson plays the manager of a hotel where the title room is haunted. In real life, scary lodgings come in more practical forms. “I guess the most interesting thing that's ever happened to me checking into what's called a hotel, last year, we went to a game preserve in South Africa, and when we checked in the guy didn't ask for a credit card, he asked us to sign a release. That’s very bad.”

But the supernatural has played a part in Jackson’s own life too. “I grew up in Tennessee around people who believe all kinds of things. I was told ghost stories at night by my grandfather and his brothers. And there were people in my neighborhood that, I guess the one lady in my neighborhood because I grew up in the segregated South so sometimes when we got hurt or sick or whatever, we couldn't afford to go to the doctor or even go to the hospital because we figured they weren't going to see us anyway. So they called what was known in our neighborhood as the root lady who would actually come over and she'd put very stinky stuff on you and chant, good stuff. And you would get well. She would take herbs and things and we bought chickens, we didn't buy chickens from the store, we bought chickens off a truck, they were live chickens and we killed them. She got the heads and feet. She did stuff with them. And there were people who died in our neighborhood that we saw long after they were dead. If you were out at night and looking around the wrong place, doing something wrong and you'd look up and there would be that lady who used to call your house and tell your mother you were doing something wrong. You'd be like, ‘She's dead. She's not supposed to be here and she is.’ And you weren't the only person that saw her.”

1408 1408

That’s right, even a badass like Samuel L. Jackson can be freaked out. “Well, I'm the guy that sits in the horror movie and says, ‘Don't go in the dark room. You're safe in this particular place right here, stay there until it gets light and call somebody or do something, but don't go in the dark room. Don't go down the stairs. Don't go see what the noise is.’ Even in my house, if I'm at home by myself in my house here in Beverly Hills, my house is big enough that if I hear something down the hall, I'll just stay in my room and go, ‘Well...I'll go turn the alarm on and if something happens then the alarm will go off but I'm not going to go down the hall to see if something's not right. I'm not that interested.’ I got a gun, too. I will take the gun out and I'll put the gun on the bed and I'll sit there and if somebody comes in the room that's not supposed to be in the house, I'll just start shooting.”

1408 opens to theaters on June 22nd.

For the trailer, poster and more movie info, go to the 1408 Movie Page.

Stay tuned for updates.

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Sources: Image property of TWC.

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