That Samuel L. Jackson Guy -or- Girl Advice From Nick Fury
Curtain opens, we fade in. I’m sitting in a classroom as I write this listening to my partner yammer on to kids about the evils of Social Media. I’m not listening. I’m typing…
Strike the harp and we flashback to April 1996! It’s an overcast day. There are still patches of wet snow on the ground. Evidently, Spring has sprung.
I’m working on set, just over halfway through making a horrible movie called “The Long Kiss Goodnight” (sorry, I needed the money). I’m the on-set-production assistant. Not a very glorious title but it was one of the best times I’d ever have working in the film and TV biz. My job was to deliver mail, scripts, and everything else under the sun to the cast and crew working on set.
This one day though, I’m sitting in the back lot of a film studio (the name of which escapes me) in the trailer of Samuel L. Jackson. After working three months together he knows me by name but refers to me as “that cartoon guy” cuz I used to draw cartoons of the cast on the daily call sheets (the schedule of the day). But for now, I’m sitting with him helping pin “thank you” notes on custom “Long Kiss Goodnight” shirts he generously bought the crew.
Now, I’m sure most of you have a certain perception of celebrities. Some of you may think they’re beautiful 24/7. They have beautiful lives, beautiful homes, drive beautiful cars, yada, yada, yada. But I’ll just say, my perception is probably a wee bit different. In short, they’re just people who do a job and get paid a shitload more money than I do. They wake up in the morning looking like crap, have bad breath, zits, unshaved legs, they poop, etc.
Sam is a down-to-Earth, really likeable guy. He’s like someone’s neighbour. You’re out mowing your lawn and he yells through the fence to come over and have a beer. He probably throws in “mutha fucka” after the initial invitation. But you go. Not cuz he’s Samuel L. Jackson, but because he’s your neighbour and you like him.
So, Sam and I are chatting, mostly about me and how I got into the film biz (story for another time). About an hour into the conversation I blurted out that I really like Geena Davis’ stand-in (person who stands in for an actor while the crew sets up the next shot). Sam encourages me to share my thoughts. I go on to say that I feel she’s out of my league and how I shouldn’t set my sights so high and go after an uglier girl who can’t speak English well.
Sam listens intuitively then offers me some heartfelt advice. “I know the one you’re talking about”, he says. “She has nice tits.” I let that slide then lean forward listening intently as Sam continues. He tells me that first of all no woman is out of a man’s league. “That’s just bullshit so forget that right now!”, he commands then continues, “If she thinks she’s out of your league, then brother, you’re outta hers.” By this point I’m nodding my head and with my eyes, I’m telling him to “please go on”. He says (and I’m paraphrasing) that no matter what relationship you get into with whichever woman, it’s “fucking hard work”. No man can tell you with any level of honesty that he’s in the prefect relationship. He may have a really good relationship with his woman, but it’s because he “fucking worked for it.” It doesn’t come easy. “It starts and ends with the same ingredient: respect!”, he advises.
He tells me to just go up and talk to her but be myself. He offers, “A woman knows a phoney when she sees one.” And here I was thinking, “Oh my God! I’m doomed!!” He further offers to talk to her on my behalf but I had a brief vision of her skipping off with him leaving me slouching in the rain with wilted flowers and a half eaten box of cordial cherries. So I declined and said I’d take care of it.
Anyhoo, long story short, I spent the next two years in a relationship with her. Was it perfect? Uh… no. But it was an important and valued time in my life. I’ll never forget my love affair with Geena Davis’ stand-in and the advice Mace Windu bestowed upon me.
Cue the harp. Flashback over. Back to present day, present time. My partner’s presentation is over. The kids look really confused. Nice work Rob.