Samuel L. Jackson has captured audiences for decades, and now after staring in over 100 movies, he's taken on the feat of playing Martin Luther King Jr. on Broadway.
In Katori Hall's The Mountaintop, Jackson portrays King the night before he's assassinated on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis. He explains in an interview with NY Mag the character he's trying to portray.
"The King I am showing just came in from delivering the 'I've Been to the Mountaintop' speech," says Jackson. The reverend is very tired, and the only other actor onstage is Jackson's longtime friend Angela Bassett, who plays Camae, a hotel employee delivering room service who stays to talk. "He's the guy alone in a hotel room talking to a woman. He's the man as a man, not as a martyr or ideologue. He just happened to be the guy who wasn't afraid to stand up for the right idea. But outside of that, he was as fragile and as flawed as anyone."
Jackson also dished on his days at King's Alma mater as "a hippie militant," who got kicked out for locking the board-of-trustees, including King's father, in a campus building. Jackson chuckled at the memory, recounting they let King's father and the rest of the trustees out because he was complaining of chest pains, and they didn't want to be charged with murder.
Seems that Jackson was always a true rebel.