It's a point of pride for Samuel L. Jackson that if you list every film in which he has starred or appeared and add up their box-office receipts, the collective total would be higher than any other on-screen actor in history. That might be some arcane career calculus, but it does speak to the 60-year-old actor’s crowded schedule and crowd-pleasing sensibility.
On a recent afternoon, talking about his varied pursuits, Jackson began a sentence with, "In my spare time ..." but couldn’t even finish the thought without laughing out loud. Jackson appeared in six films last year, and when discussing his upcoming ventures he has to pause to remember some of the titles and costars.
Next up, though, is a project that is near and dear to his heart: "Afro Samurai: Resurrection," a two-hour animated film that premieres this Sunday night on Spike TV and then hits stores as a DVD release on Feb. 3. In it, Jackson reprises his dual role as the Afro, a haunted warrior in a bleak world, and also his sidekick, the motor-mouthed Ninja Ninja.
The cartoon adapts the vision of manga star Takashi Okazaki and melds the stylized sword violence with the music of RZA, the hip-hop auteur of Wu-Tang Clan fame. "It’s a wonderful adventure about a black samurai in a post-apocalyptic world that’s a rich blend of the ancient and the new with a hip-hop beat," said Jackson, who is also executive producer. "It’s sexy, violent and extremely cool."