LOS ANGELES – Samuel L. Jackson has some words of wisdom for President Obama when it comes to his deliberate dropping of “g’s” off the ends of words to seemingly sound like Joe Average.
“First of all, we know it ain’t because of his blackness, so I say stop trying to ‘relate.’ Be a leader. Be f**king presidential,” Jackson told Playboy magazine. “Look, I grew up in a society where I could say ‘It ain’t’ or ‘What it be’ to my friends. But when I’m out presenting myself to the world as me, who graduated from college, who had family what cared about me, who has a well-read background, I f**king conjugate.”
The 64-year-old actor, who stars this fall in the highly-anticipated remake of “Oldboy,” is also known in social media circles as the “grammar police.”
“On Twitter someone will write, ‘Your an idiot,’ and I’ll go, ‘No, you’re an idiot,’ and all my Twitterphiles will go, ‘Hey, Sam Jackson, he’s the grammar police.’ I’ll take that,” he continued. “Somebody needs to be. I mean, we have newscasters who don’t even know how to conjugate verbs, something Walter Cronkite and Edward R. Murrow never had problems with. How the f**k did we become a society where mediocrity is acceptable.”
Raised in Tennessee, Jackson went on to note that he’s finally proud to acknowledge his Southern roots, and how his strict family upbringing put him in good stead.
“Looking back, I love the South so much, even though there was a time when I didn’t feel so proud of being from there. The sense of community there is unheard of in this day and age. The idea that it takes a village to raise a child—it works,” he said. “The one thing my family insisted on was, don’t embarrass us. Don’t make us come to jail, because though we will come to see you, we’re going to leave you there. It just wasn’t an option for me. I was more afraid of the people I lived with than the people I ran with.”
The famed actor also staunchly defended director Quentin Tarantino’s controversial use of the “N” word in last year’s hit “Django Unchained.”
“These 20-somethings can’t turn around and tell me the word n**ger is f**ked-up in ‘Django’ yet still listen to Jay Z or whoever else say ‘n**ger, n**ger, n**ger’ throughout the music they listen to,” he told the men’s magazine. “You can’t have it one way and not the other. Saying Tarantino said ‘n**ger’ too many times is like complaining they said ‘kike’ too many times in a movie about Nazis.”
However, there are a couple of things he says won’t do onscreen – not even for his buddy Tarantino. Maybe.
“Probably dress up as a woman and kiss another guy. I don’t think people want to see me do that,” Jackson added. “He hasn’t asked me, but you know what? If it’s done right and the story is good, I might.”