When Samuel L. Jackson Met Sidney Poitier

By Richard Horgan Comment

ShutterstockSidneyPoitierFor the 2016 Vanity Fair “Hollywood Issue,” Samuel L. Jackson has revisited a number of episodes on his way up the ladder to Pulp Fiction standout, beloved superstar and Capital One pitchman.

One of the episodes involves the dean of Black Hollywood. After Jackson moved from New York to L.A., he landed with powerful agent Toni Howard and started attending her parties:

I was walking past the sofa in her living room, and I saw the back of someone’s head. As I went by, this voice said, “Hey, you, come here.” It was Sidney Poitier. He patted the seat next to him and said “Sit.” Then he started telling me how amazing I was. I couldn’t believe he knew my work! And he said, “I hear that you play golf.” I’m like, “Yeah.” He said, “O.K., we’re going to play tomorrow.”

… Sidney and I started hanging out, playing golf. I beat him, took some of his money. My wife was upset. She said, “You took Sidney Poitier’s money? You’re supposed to let him win!” But he was fine with it, and we had great conversations, me telling him that as a child I sat amazed in movie theaters watching him in Edge of the City, The Long Ships, To Sir, with Love, and all that stuff. Sidney told me about making choices and navigating through what Hollywood was for him. We’re still great friends.

Read the rest of Jackson’s essay here.

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