Samuel J. Jackson got candid about his past drug abuse in his new cover story with The Hollywood Reporter.
The 70-year-old actor spoke on his addiction to crack cocaine during the 1980s and 1990s.
“The whole time I was using, sure, I had a good reputation,” he told THR. “I showed up on time, I did my lines. I was great. But there was something that was keeping me from getting to that next place.”
He recalled how he was an understudy for the lead role in “The Piano Lesson” on Broadway that was portrayed by Charles Dutton.
“I had to sit there every night on the steps behind the theater and listen to Charles Dutton do that part,” Jackson told THR. “I’d sit there and smoke crack while I listened to the play. It made me f—ing crazy. Because I’d be listening to him doing the lines and going, ‘That’s not right!’ “
He even mentioned his relationship with “American Horror Story” Star Jessica Lange and how he would watch her smoke across the street. She would take breaks while she was in “Streetcar Named Desire”. Then, the two would eventually star in the same film, “Losing Isaiah” some years later.
“We would smoke cigarettes together in the rain under this awning where we were shooting in Chicago,” Jackson said. “It was fun. But I never said, ‘Hey Jessica, I used to watch you while smoking crack’ or nothing.”
But, soon came his breaking point. Jackson went to rehab after his wife, Tanya Richardson Jackson, and daughter discovered him unconscious in the kitchen one day. He had been using the drug for a long while as he revealed to THR that he started when he was just 15 or 16 years old.
“I’d been getting high since, s—, 15, 16 years old, and I was tired as f—,” he told THR about going to rehab.
Ironically enough, the first booking he landed was to play a drug addict in Spike Lee’s “Jungle Fever”. This could have sent Jackson straight back to rehab but he “hated” the people there so much that he vowed to never return.
“All the people in rehab were trying to talk me out of it. ‘You’re going to be messing around with crack pipes. All your triggers will be there. Blah, blah, blah,’ ” Jackson said.“I was like, ‘You know what? If for no other reason than I never want to see you motherf—ers again, I will never pick up another drug.’ ‘Cause I hated their asses.”
In the cover story, the actor also said his role in “Pulp Fiction” gains him “three, four million new fans” every year.
“It’s the kind of movie that every year, I gain three, four million new fans because kids get old enough to see it for the first time. They think it’s the coolest thing they’ve ever f—ing seen in their lives.”
Watch Samuel play “Fishing For Answers” with The Hollywood Reporter below: