Samuel L. Jackson is sharing his frustrations over a scene cut from 1996’s A Time to Kill that he believes would have put him at the front of the line for Academy Award consideration.
In a recent interview with Vulture, the actor said he was shocked to learn that moments he felt were important in the Joel Schumacher-directed film were “taken out” during the “editing process.” Specifically, a scene that he felt could have scored him a trophy.
“The things they took out kept me from getting an Oscar. Really, motherfuckers? You just took that shit from me?” he told the outlet. “My first day working on that film, I did a speech in a room with an actor and the whole fucking set was in tears when I finished. I was like, ‘Okay. I’m on the right page.‘ That shit is not in the movie! And I know why it’s not. Because it wasn’t my movie, and they weren’t trying to make me a star.”
Throughout his decades-long career, Jackson has starred in more than 150 projects. But, apart from being presented with an honorary Oscar for lifetime achievement during the 2022 ceremony, the actor has only received one Oscar nomination for his role in 1995’s Pulp Fiction.
He also noted that once he noticed the scene was cut from A Time to Kill, it “was one of the first times that I saw that shit happen.”
“There are things that I’ve done in other movies where I said, ‘Wait a minute. Why did you take that moment out of the movie?’” he added. “Because the moment, in that movie, it’s bigger than the movie.”
In the film, Jackson plays Carl Lee Hailey, a Mississippi man on trial for murdering two white men who raped his ten-year-old daughter. Once he saw the final product, the actor said he felt like his character’s perception was changed due to edits that were made.
“When I kill those guys, I kill them because my daughter needs to know that those guys are not on the planet anymore and they will never hurt her again — that I will do anything to protect her,” he recalled. “That’s how I played that character throughout.”
He continued, “There were specific things we shot, things I did to make sure that she understood that, but in the editing process, they got taken out. And it looked like I killed those dudes and then planned every move to make sure that I was going to get away with it. When I saw it, I was sitting there like, What the fuck?”