Jackson notes he was particularly attracted by how the story unfolds. "You read these things all the time," he tells The Early Show co-anchor Julie Chen. "Generally, because you do read them, you know who did it by page 20. I didn't know. I didn't know by page 40. I didn't know by page 60. It took me all the way to the end. This is great,"
Ashley Judd plays the detective with whom Jackson has a special relationship. About her character, he notes her mother was murdered and her father committed suicide.
Jackson says, "Her father was my ex-partner when I was a patrolman. She's now a detective. And, well, to set it up even further, her father actually was suspected of killing some women and some men earlier in his career because people think he was a serial killer. He has a very dark past. And now she's a detective. But in her off hours, she goes to bars; she picks up men and has one-night stands."
She is not the only one "twisted." In fact, all the characters but Jackson's are. He plays the voice of reason.
And to keep his mind sane off the set, he says, he plays golf. It is a passion he makes sure to include as special clause in his contract - the time to be able to play twice a week.
"I need a place to unwind," he says. "It's a place that I can go and kind of release everything and not think about anything. I turn myself on off. My agent doesn't call me. My managers don't bother me. Everybody knows to kind of leave me alone on the golf course. That's my time and my place."
When he is not golfing, he is very busy working. Soon he says he will have to go to London for the finishing touches on the latest installment of "Star Wars"
He says, "Episode three is sort of in the can. We shot it last summer. And I got a call last week saying, they need me for, like, three more days."
About that film, he says, "It's the darkest of all the 'Star Wars' that have been done. I think it's going to be the bloodiest of all the 'Star Wars' that's been done. It's the most adult of all the 'Star Wars' that have been done. And hopefully it will tie up a lot of the loose ends that everybody has always had real questions about."
Some Facts About Samuel L. Jackson
- Born Samuel Leroy Jackson in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 21, 1948
- Married to actress LaTanya Richardson, whom he met at Moorehouse College; they have one daughter, Zoe.
- Jackson's first feature was 1972's "Together for Days"
- Jackson won a special jury prize as Best Supporting Actor at the 1991 Cannes Film Festival for his role in Spike Lee's "Jungle Fever"
- His success led to small roles in "Strictly Business" (1991), Ernest Dickerson's "Juice," "White Sands," "Johnny Suede," "Patriot Games," "Jumpin' at the Boneyard," and "Fathers and Sons" (all 1992).
- He followed with two comedies in 1993, "National Lampoon's Loaded Weapon I" and "Amos and Andrew." He finished out the year in supporting roles in three wildly different projects: the Hughes Brothers' "Menace II Society", Steven Spielberg's "Jurassic Park" and Tony Scott's "True Romance", scripted by rising star Quentin Tarantino.
- In 1994, Tarantino put Jackson in a Jheri-curled Afro wig to play Jules, a philosophical hit man, in the acclaimed "Pulp Fiction" for which Jackson received an Oscar nomination as Best Supporting Actor.
- Jackson's choice of roles, post-"Pulp Fiction," yielded mixed critical and box-office results. It wasn't until 1998 that he would be paid $5 million to star opposite Kevin Spacey (at $4 million) in "The Negotiator." And the following year, he was asked by George Lucas to be Jedi Knight Mace Windu in "Star Wars: Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace"
- In 2000, Jackson was a Marine Colonel embroiled in controversy in "Rules of Engagement" and a cool private eye in "Shaft."
- In 2002, he co-starred with Ben Affleck in the sociological thriller "Changing Lanes." Then, he reprised his "Star Wars" role in the sequel, "Attack of the Clones;" appeared as a mysteriously scarred NSA Agent Gibbon in "XXX;" and took the lead as kilt-wearing master chemist Elmo McElroy in the Brit indie thriller "Formula 51."
- In 2003, the actor tackled the role of Lt. Dan 'Hondo' Harrelson in the big-budget, straight-faced screen adaptation of the '70s cop drama "S.W.A.T." He then traveled to South Africa for production on the film "Country of My Skull," based on the best-selling novel by South African writer Antjie Krog. Jackson will portray an American reporter who must cope with the aftermath of apartheid as his newspaper assigns him to cover the Truth and Reconciliation Trials established by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, that expose the worst cases of torture, abuse and violence.
- Jackson has already filmed his role as Mace Windu in the third installment of George Lucas' "Stars Wars: Episode III", due in theaters May 2005, and this Summer he begins filming "XXX2: State Of The Union", with Ice Cube replacing Vin Diesel in the lead role.