Respectfully labeled as one of the hardest working actors in Hollywood, Jackson is an undisputed star, demonstrated by the fact that his films have grossed more money in box office sales than any other actor in the history of filmmaking.
Jackson made an indelible mark on American cinema with his portrayal of ‘Jules’, the philosophizing hitman, in Quentin Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction.” In addition to unanimous critical acclaim for his performance, he received Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations for Best Supporting Actor and won the British Academy of Film and Television Arts award.
On May 4th, Jackson can be seen reprising his role as ‘Nick Fury’ in one of the year’s most anticipated movies, “The Avengers.” The film is part of Jackson’s multi-picture deal with Marvel Studios. Shortly there after on May 18th, IFC will release “The Samaritan”. Jackson costars with Ruth Negga and Luke Kirby in this neo noir thriller.
Jackson is currently in production on Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained.” Jackson plays the role of ‘Stephen,’ alongside Christoph Waltz as ‘Dr. King Schultz,’ Jamie Foxx as ‘Django’ and Leonardo DiCaprio as ‘Calvin Candie.’ “Django Unchained” is set in the Deep South during the 1850s and tells the story of a slave-turned-bounty hunter setting out to rescue his wife from a brutal Mississippi plantation owner. It will be release on Christmas Day 2012 by the Weinstein Company and Sony.
Jackson recently wrapped his Broadway debut in Katori Hall’s The Mountaintop, co-starring Angela Bassett and directed by Kenny Leon. The Mountaintop is set on the eve of the assassination of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., whom Jackson portrays. Jackson is nominated for a Drama League award for his performance.
Recently, Jackson costarred with Tommy Lee Jones in Cormac McCarthy’s “The Sunset Limited,” for HBO. Tommy Lee Jones also directed.
In September 2010, Jackson played ‘P.K. Highsmith’ in Columbia Pictures’ “The Other Guys.” Additionally, Jackson co-starred in the indie drama, “Mother and Child,” directed by Rodrigo Garcia. He received an Image Award and an Independent Spirit Award nomination for his work. Jackson was also seen in Marvel’s “Iron Man 2” as ‘Nick Fury,’ after making a surprise cameo appearance in “Iron Man” in 2008. He reprised the role in “Captain America” in the summer of 2011.
Jackson’s career began onstage upon his graduation from Morehouse College in Atlanta with a degree in dramatic arts. He appeared in numerous plays, including Home, A Soldier’s Play, Sally/Prince and The District Line. He also originated roles in two of August Wilson’s plays at Yale Repertory Theatre. For the New York Shakespeare Festival, Jackson appeared in Mother Courage and Her Children, Spell #7, and The Mighty Gents.
In 2008, Jackson appeared in Neil LaBute thriller, “Lakeview Terrace,” which premiered at the Deauville Film Festival, followed by the Dimension Studios comedy “Soul Men,” alongside the late Bernie Mac, and the Frank Miller action drama “The Spirit,” in which he portrayed the nemesis, “Octopus.” That year Jackson also starred in the Doug Liman directed sci-fi, action film, “Jumper” for 20th Century Fox.
In 2007, Jackson had a starring role in the acclaimed drama “Resurrecting the Champ,” and a co-starring role in the very successful horror film for the Weinstein Co., “1408,” based on the Stephen King novel. Earlier that year, Jackson starred in the Craig Brewer film “Black Snake Moan,” and Irwin Winkler’s MGM war drama “Home of the Brave.”
In 2006, Jackson starred in the cult classic film “Snakes on a Plane,” directed by David Ellis. Jackson also starred opposite Julianne Moore in Revolution Studio’s “Freedomland,” directed by Joe Roth, based on the best-selling novel of the same name. He also appeared as ‘Agent Derrick Vann’ in New Line’s “The Man,” opposite Eugene Levy.
In early 2005, Jackson topped the opening weekend box office charts with the success of the Paramount Pictures film, “Coach Carter.” Jackson portrayed real-life high school basketball coach, ‘Ken Carter’, a dedicated role model and advocate for students succeeding in the classroom as well as on the basketball court. “Coach Carter” was screened as the opening night film of the prestigious Palm Springs Film Festival. Jackson received the Career Achievement Award for Acting from the Festival.
Jackson also starred in the indie film opposite Juliette Binoche in the Sony Classics, “In My Country,” based on the best-selling novel, “Country of My Skull,” by South African writer, Antije Krog. Jackson portrayed an American reporter coping with the aftermath of apartheid as his newspaper assigns him to cover the Truth and Reconciliation Trials, established by Archbishop Desmond Tutu. “In My Country” was directed by John Boorman and produced by Bob Chartoff and Mike Medavoy.
In 2005, Jackson reprised his role as ‘Agent Augustus Gibbons’ in “XXX: State of the Union” and as ‘Mace Windu’ in “Star Wars: Episode III – The Revenge of the Sith.” To no one’s surprise, “Star Wars: Episode III – The Revenge of the Sith” made an incredible impact at the box office, breaking numerous opening day records.
In 2004, Jackson “appeared” as the character ‘Frozone’ in the Disney animated action-adventure film, “The Incredibles,” which was released to record box office results. The film was directed and written by Brad Bird and earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Picture as well as two Academy Award nominations.
In 2003, Jackson starred in “S.W.A.T” for Columbia TriStar. Directed by Clark Johnson, “S.W.A.T.” is about an arrested drug kingpin who is transported by a Los Angeles Police Department S.W.A.T. team and led out of the city and into Federal custody. Plans go awry when the kingpin offers $100 million to anyone who can free him. Colin Farrell and Michelle Rodriguez are also in the film.
In 2002, Jackson starred with Ben Affleck in the box office and critical success, Paramount’s “Changing Lanes.” Jackson delivered an intense yet sympathetic performance of a father who was down on his luck, but intent on getting even with the man that wronged him. Also in 2002, Jackson starred and executive produced the Sony/ Screen Gems film “Formula 51,” with Robert Carlyle; co-starred in the sci-fi thriller, “XXX”; and reprised his role as ‘Mace Windu’ in the second installment of George Lucas’ “Stars Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones.”
In 2001, Jackson starred in Jersey Franchise/Universal’s “Caveman’s Valentine.” Directed by Kasi Lemmons, the film followed the story of a homeless man in New York City who discovered a murder. Jackson also served as an executive producer on the project, which was the most successful independent film of the year. This was Jackson’s second project with Kasi Lemmons with the first being the applauded, “Eve’s Bayou,” which he also produced in 1997.
In 2000, Jackson co-starred opposite Bruce Willis in writer/director M. Night Shyamalan’s suspense drama, “Unbreakable” for Disney. Jackson’s character, ‘Elijah Price,’ a highly suspicious and wheelchair-bound man with a far-fetched theory, holds the key to the film’s underlying question of, “Are You Unbreakable?”
Also in 2000, Jackson starred in John Singleton’s “Shaft” in the title role opposite Christian Bale and Vanessa Williams. Jackson also starred in Paramount’s courtroom drama “Rules of Engagement” where he played Col. Terry Childers, a military officer on trial for ordering his soldiers to open fire on civilians. Directed by William Friedkin, the film co-starred Tommy Lee Jones. Both “Shaft” and “Rules of Engagement” were screened at the 2000 Deauville Film Festival, where Jackson was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
In 1999, Jackson starred in Warner Bros. “Deep Blue Sea” for director Renny Harlin. Jackson also made a cameo appearance in George Lucas’ highly successful and popular “Star Wars Episode One: The Phantom Menace.” In 1998, Jackson also starred in “The Negotiator” and in Francois Girard’s “The Red Violin.”
In 1997, Jackson starred in “Jackie Brown,” his second film with director Quentin Tarantino. For the latter he received a Golden Globe nomination and the Silver Bear Award for Best Actor in a Comedy at the Berlin Film Festival. Later that year he starred in “187.”
Jackson starred opposite Sandra Bullock, Matthew McConaughey and
Kevin Spacey in Joel Schumacher’s 1996 film “A Time to Kill,” an adaptation of the famous John Grisham novel. For his performance Jackson received a Golden Globe nomination and an NAACP Image Award. He also starred opposite Bruce Willis in “Die Hard with a Vengeance,” the top-grossing movie internationally in 1995.
In 1991, Jackson made movie history with his portrayal of a crack addict in Spike Lee’s “Jungle Fever” when he was awarded the first and only Best Supporting Performance Award ever given by the judges at the Cannes Film Festival. He also won the New York Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actor for that performance.
His other film credits include “Twisted,” “Sphere,” “The Long Kiss Goodnight,” “Hard Eight,” “Kiss of Death,” “Losing Isaiah” and “Amos and Andrew.” Additional film credits include: “Ragtime,” “Sea of Love,” “Coming to America,” “Ray,” “Do the Right Thing,” “School Daze,” “Mo’ Better Blues,” “Goodfellas,” “Strictly Business,” “White Sands,” “ Patriot Games,” “Jumpin’ at the Boneyard,” “Father and Sons,” “Juice,” “Fresh” and “True Romance.”
On the small screen, Jackson serves as Executive Producer for the animated series for Spike TV, “Afro Samurai” which premiered in 2007 and returned for a third season in January 2009. The series received an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Animated Program from the Television Academy of Arts and Sciences. The first edition of the “Afro Samurai” video game launched in February 2009. A film version of “Afro Samurai” is in development with the Indomina Group for which Jackson is one of the producers.
On television, in addition to “The Sunset Limited,” Jackson starred in John Frankenheimer’s Emmy Award-winning “Against the Wall” for HBO. His performance earned him a Cable Ace nomination as Best Supporting Actor in a Movie or Miniseries, as well as a Golden Globe nomination.