By our guest blogger, Joe Oliveto
Although it seems like he has appeared in every other movie released this past decade, it’s surprising to know that Samuel L. Jackson has never performed on Broadway. He has the commanding presence that is perfect for the stage.
Fortunately, according to Deadline, he will get the opportunity to show off such skills this fall when he portrays famed civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the play “The Mountaintop.” That’s quite a role to take on for a Broadway first-timer, and we wonder if Jackson’s iconic status will get in the way of his performance. He certainly has the talent to pull it off, but just as Christopher Walken never plays characters anymore—we always just think of him as, well, Christopher Walken—it is becoming difficult not to perceive Samuel L. Jackson as the “badass” that he appears to be.
Still, like we said, he’s got the talent for the role, and from the sound of it, audiences can look forward to seeing him deliver one of the more emotional performances he has given us in some time. “The Mountaintop” is a fictionalized story about the evening prior to King’s assassination, as he reflects back on his life in his motel room. While we imagine that any play featuring a portrayal of King will ask its lead actor to convey the man’s obvious charisma, it seems like this play will also allow Jackson to explore a more subdued attitude that should make for a memorable performance.
Two films about the life of King have also been in development, but were recently put on hold. While their status remains up in the air, we can at least safely assume that “The Mountaintop” will remind audiences of the massive contribution he made to the lives of oppressed people.