At this year's Comic-con, I was able to set down with crew members from the highly anticipated Summer "funcore" flick Snakes on a Plane. First I talked with Director David Ellis...
Next up was everyone's favorite Mother F**ker, Samuel L. Jackson, the star of Snakes on a Plane. And lets face it, this isn't exactly Sheakspear. After shooing away a quick question about his shameful surfing skills, I asked him if, at this point in his career, getting the Action Figure was more important than getting the Oscar. He responded by saying, "At this point in my career?" A playful scowl on his face. "The action figure is way more important. It will be around forever. And it will go up in value. Oscar is a one night thing. No one remembers that you won an Oscar the next day, let alone the next year. It's definitely more important for me to be getting that action figure." I then asked, out of all the films that have produced a figure with his likeness, which one was his favorite. I would have though he would have picked Mace Windu, or Shaft, but no, "Fro-Zone was my favorite." I didn't even remember that he was the voice of that character."
Next, Sam discussed his relationship with snakes, "As a kid I looked for them. I knew they were there. I grew up in the country, so if a snake saw us, he knew he was in trouble. Cause we'd mess with us. They were in the creek beds, in the rocks."
What about the live snakes on set? "I didn't come within twenty feet of those snakes. My agent wouldn't let me. We did talk about it. I knew they were going to be there. We were throwing luggage and all kinds of things, so we didn't really want to hurt the snakes."
Was it true that Sam had never actually read the script before accepting the role? "The honest to God truth is, it's sort of true that I took the job without reading the script. I called Ronny Yu and told him that I wanted to be in it. I thought it was going to be fun. Poison Snakes on a Plane? Let's do it.
What about the name change? "I was really surprised that they did that. I was so happy last year when the fans started saying they wanted the name changed back. It's what I'd been saying all along. They didn't want to give it away. But I told them to give the whole thing away. I told New Line, "Remember the title Jason vs. Freddy?" It kind of says it all. And it has to. You know exactly what you're getting."
What about the Internet enthusiasm? "Everyone thought it would petter out, but it didn't. It's still going strong. Even as we speak. There's blogs and music videos. You know, I don;t expect an Academy Award for this, so I don't care if people are skeptical. It's Snakes on a Mother Fucking Plane. Go, scream, have fun. That's what it's here for.
Jackson smiled when the oft mention subject of a sequel came up, "What would it be? I think this movie is so unique and self contained. There was that story the other day about the mice that chewed through some wires on a Dc 747. I guess we could do Rats on a Plane. The tag line could be, "Where the Fuck is a Snake when you need one."
Sam was then asked what made him want to take on this role. He responded by saying, "This is the kind of movie that we would have went to see when I was a kid. We would have stayed there all day. Its a popcorn movie. Just like Deep Blue Sea. I get eaten by a shark. I wanted to do that. It's about what I wanted to watch when I was a kid.
Is there anything Sam is afraid of, "Snails. I don't even know how people eat Escargo. I haven't even picked up a worm, for fishing or otherwise. But you know what? I don;t mind snakes."
Sam will next be seen in the cartoon Afro Samurai, "I'm actually voicing a couple of characters in that. Afro Samurai doesn't talk that much. But his buddy talks all the time. I have a great love for Asian Cinema, and the creator sent me a tape of this. I liked it, then got involved with it. It's a great project that combines traditional sword fighting with rap music. RZA is doing the soundtrack. We are doing five episodes in total. And I'm hoping to do the live action version with the director of Azumi. I think that kid is really talented.
About going back and recording the now infamous line, "Get these mother fucking snakes off this mother fucking plane," Jackson said that it was, "Fine. Most people that are going to see this expect to hear me say something along those lines. Heck, i expect myself to say it and was disappointed that we didn't get to the first time around."
Sam's last words on the project were, "I hope the fans have fun with it. I hope people go home and say, "That was crazy." Any fear of getting on an airplane Sam? "Yeah, I'm afraid that the seat might not go all the way back and I wont be able to go to sleep."