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Set Visit Report: Samuel L. Jackson On Filming ‘Captain Marvel’

Jackson Talks About Nick Fury not wearing an eye-patch around this time

In July 2018 the heavily anticipated Marvel film ‘Captain Marvel’ was on the tail end of filming in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, one of the many on-location settings for the movie, The film stars Brie Larson as Carol Danvers, an air force pilot who acquires superhuman powers after an accidental alien encounter. The story takes place in the 90s as Danvers strives to make the world a better place while coming to terms with the powers within her.’ The film arrives March 8, 2019.

From directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, ‘Captain Marvel’ is filled with a roster of A-list talents including Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn, Djimon Hounsou, Lee Pace, Lashana Lynch, Gemma Chan, Rune Temte, Algenis Perez Soto, Mckenna Grace, with Annette Bening, with Clark Gregg, and Jude Law. During filming got the opportunity to sit down and speak with a few members of the star studded cast and discuss their experience being apart of the colossal project.

Read below for our conversation with Samuel L. Jackson about how he approached his role as Nick Fury for this film in particular.

How have you felt filming this compared to all the other Marvel films?

Samuel L. Jackson: I guess the hard job for me is being a Nick Fury that is essentially a bureaucrat. He’d been a desk jockey for a while. Once he left the Cold war and the spy business, wherever he was or whatever he was doing, now he’s riding a desk and his job is threat assessment. Where is the next threat coming from? Is it coming from China? Is it coming from Russia? Is it coming from Africa? All of a sudden he meets this person and sees these things and realizes that, “Oh, there’s a threat out there, too.” And believing in aliens is just not something we’re wired for. Until you see them it’s kind of like, “Oh, shit. They are out there.”

Now the job is convincing the people with the money that we need to figure out a way to fight something that doesn’t live here. That can do things that we can’t do. And I guess that’s the beginning of Nick Fury’s fight with the bureaucrats and the cynicism of the world and how they are and trying to find people who fit a specific mold and can do things that we, as humans, can’t naturally do. But they can be the wall between us and those things that are extraordinary.

Do you get to partake in any of the 90’s fashion we see around this place?

Marvel Studios’ CAPTAIN MARVEL..Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) ..Photo: Chuck Zlotnick..©Marvel Studios 2019

Samuel L. Jackson: I’m pretty much in what you see here. That’s 90s fashion, right?

Maybe you have some cross-colors on or something.

Samuel L. Jackson: No. Nick Fury’s not a cross-color guy.

Do you have any say in this character? You’ve played Nick for so long, so now that we’re going back and seeing him, predating what everyone is seeing thus far? Have you been telling them, like “No, he wouldn’t say that. Or he wouldn’t have done this.” Because you’ve been living this character for such a while now?

Samuel L. Jackson: I tend to do that anyway.

I guess one of the interesting aspects of that happens when we do these movies is like when the Russo brothers showed up to do Winter Soldier, that was their first movie. So they came in with all these ideas, it was great that they had them. And they occasionally would come over and go, “Yeah. I don’t think he would say…” I’ve been doing Nick Fury for about five years. It’s your first one. You’re the new kids in the playground. Watch us play. We’ll let you know if you can play in the came with us. But for now, action cut’s pretty good.

We had those moments. And like I said, he’s not the worldly-wise, cynical hard-bitten Nick Fury that we’ve seen before. So it’s a little different. So occasionally when they come to me and say, “Be a little lighter.” “Oh, I guess I can have more of a sense of humor.” And Brie and I have an interesting chemistry, having done several films together already. And being with her, we have a sense of what works between us and the dynamic of who we are and how we interact. And the closeness that we feel anyway, that allows us to do things that make people believe that we are forming a bond, once the bond forms.

Is it easier not having to wear the eye-patch around this time?

Samuel L. Jackson: Well, it’s always easier not wearing it. It gives you a greater field of vision. It’s easier for me to learn my lines without it. Easier to learn with two eyes than one.

Do you feel differently about this version of Nick Fury? Because you’ve been playing him for so long, so it’s like, you just show up. But now there’s a different fold, a different layer to him, in different times. And do you feel differently about the character?

Samuel L. Jackson: I’m okay exploring what his origin story is for people. And there are little things that come out, like she’ll say, ‘Where are you from?’ And I’ll tell her where I’m from. Or just say, what do people call you? Fury. My whole name’s Nicholas Fury, Joseph Fury. And what do people call you? Fury. What does your mother call you? Fury. What do your children call you? If I had them, Fury. So, little things like that, I guess. We’ll explore things about the eye at some point. We haven’t yet. So there’s that stuff, and talking about the Cold War, and what the threat was before she showed up, or what my job was in the government, or who I am to these people, and how many people know me. Coulson’s a rookie. I keep asking him what his name is, who are you again? Stuff like that.

Did they capture the 90’s right in this movie? How did they do with capturing all of that nostalgia?

Marvel Studios’ CAPTAIN MARVEL
Brie Larson (left) gets hands-on help from Brigadier General Jeannie Leavitt, 57th Wing Commander (right), on a recent trip to Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada to research her character, Carol Danvers aka Captain Marvel, for Marvel Studios’ “Captain Marvel.”
Photo: Brad Baruh
©Marvel Studios 2019

Samuel L. Jackson: So far, it feels right. The costumes are right, the lapels are the right width, and people’s pants aren’t tight. There’s enough cards there to let you know that we’re in another place. It’s easy to cheat sometimes. This is the most complete living situation that we’ve seen, that we’ve had to deal with. There are a couple of restaurants that are nostalgic, spots that she used to hang out when she was in the Air Force.

My time in the 90’s was spent in… I actually tend to think my best times were, well ’60s for me. Just because it was revolutionary, things were changing, everything was happening. Sex, drugs, cheap thrills. Then 70’s, I went to New York and did that whole theater thing, which was a great and creative, awesome time. And then by the time the 90s happened, I was Hollywood, which has a different kind of work ethic moving through it. But usually your ball-out times are the times that you feel like, and then there’s music that you relate to and all that. It’s like, when I listen to a commercial now and it’s like, “Wow. They’re using James Brown in a commercial. Never thought that would happen.” It’s stuff.

Do we find out a little bit about the pager [at the end of Infinity War]?

Samuel L. Jackson: She got it from me. It was mine. She didn’t trust me with it, because at a certain point when I run into her in the beginning, I use my pager to say, I found the person that broke into whatever. She thinks that I’m ratting her out to the cops, so she just takes it from me. And she knows that it’s a communication device, and at a certain point, she does something to it that allows me to contact her, which is what happened at the end of Infinity Wars when it just started jumping off. I hit the pager.

How much freedom do you give yourself when it comes to creating that backstory for your character?

Samuel L. Jackson: Watch my master class you’ll see exactly how much time I take, or how much freedom I take. If there’s no source material, where there’s information about who the person is, where they came from, how they grew up, whatever, then it’s up to me to figure out, to create a whole person. Give them an educational background, military background, parentage, brothers, sister, none, some. A lot of women in the house, no women in the house, men in the house, no men in the house. So it’s up to me to do all that. And I have fun doing it. It’s time well-spent.

Well, we heard that this is the most on-location Marvel film that there’s been. Usually you guys are shooting a lot in studios and everything. So how has it been? How has it enhanced your experience, being on-location for a majority of this film?

Samuel L. Jackson: Yeah. I’m thinking if that’s true. Well the ones that I’ve been in. Because let me see, we did stuff in London for Avengers, we did stuff in New York, we were in Cleveland, we shot Winter Soldier in Cleveland. And parts of Avengers in Cleveland. Albuquerque, you know we were in the studio in Albuquerque, you can’t go out in Albuquerque unless you’re shooting Breaking Bad or something. Not necessarily true, well we get around. They use real locations for stuff a lot. It’s just a big moving piece to do it. There’s just so many moving parts. And at one point, and I think that was the point in Avengers, what is it four, two, three, four? The next one. The next Avengers, there was one day where there was like 60 Marvel heroes on set at once.

Even more than all the people who showed up in Wakanda to start that fight. Why do you have to come to Wakanda and trash it up? All the places they could have tore-up, they showed up in Wakanda!

Have you gotten to go to Wakanda yet, or?

Samuel L. Jackson: No. I have a plan. I asked, I tried to figure out why I wasn’t there. So did Don [Cheadle]. So did Anthony [Mackie], but they made it, I didn’t. I was the only black person in the Marvel universe that has not been to Wakanda!

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