BRIEF EXCERPT FROM COVER STORY WRITTEN BY: Seth Abramovitch
He arrives exactly on schedule, not a minute early, not a minute late, and comes dressed in character: Armani cashmere shirt, translucent Alain Mikli eyeglasses and, of course, a Kangol cap. There are no formalities, no handshakes, no, "Hi, nice to meet you, I'm Samuel L. Jackson." He simply strolls into the restaurant in midtown Manhattan — a short walk from the $13 million condo he shares with his wife of 38 years, LaTanya Richardson, who's currently starring as Calpurnia in Aaron Sorkin's Broadway adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird — slips into a corner booth and buries his face behind a menu.
"Go ahead," he says. "I'm listening."
This is how the world's most successful actor begins an interview.
That superlative is not a total exaggeration; it's been scientifically proven. Jackson, who just celebrated his 70th birthday, is "the most influential actor of all time," according to a study published in December in Applied Network Science that used an algorithm to measure various actors' impact on pop culture (Clint Eastwood and Tom Cruise came in second and third). In September, Box Office Mojo did its own calculation, naming Jackson Hollywood's most bankable star. His 120-plus movies — from tentpoles (Jurassic Park and the Star Wars prequels) to art house hits like Pulp Fiction to campy horror neo-classics like Snakes on a Plane — have earned a grand total of $5.76 billion at the U.S. box office (well ahead of Harrison Ford's $4.96 billion and Tom Hanks' $4.6 billion), and a staggering $13.3 billion worldwide.