Samuel L. Jackson, who plays S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Nick Fury in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, recently spoke with USA Today about his role in films such as The Avengers and the upcoming Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the highly anticipated follow-up to the Captain America debut.
Fury’s role will be growing in the next Captain America installment as the character and Captain begin to form a unique bond. Jackson had a lot to say on his character, Nick Fury, working together with Captain America, now an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., and it’s beginning to sound as though Steve Rogers has finally found someone who can help him sort out this new life he’s been given:
“You see Nick Fury the office guy, him going about the day-to-day work of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the politics as opposed to that other stuff. It’s great to have him dealing with Captain America in terms of being able to speak to him soldier to soldier and try to explain to him how the world has changed in another way while he was frozen in time. Some of the people who used to be our enemies are now our allies — him trying to figure out, ‘Well, how do we trust those guys?’ or ‘How do we trust the guys that you didn’t trust who don’t trust you?’ And explaining to him that the black and white of good guys/bad guys has now turned into this gray area. Nick lies to him all the time, too. (Laughs) But he’s trying to help him navigate the waters of the new sharks that he doesn’t know anything about.”
Another key conversation point was Alexander Pierce, the head of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Nick Fury’s boss. Pierce, played by Robert Redford, has yet to be seen together with Nick Fury on screen, and that’s been due to scheduling conflicts, according to Jackson: “There were a couple of films they called me to do he was in, and I was doing something and I didn’t have the opportunity to go and do them.”
We’ll be seeing more of Pierce in future films, including back story on how the pair came together and the role he plays within S.H.I.E.L.D.:
“Yeah, he’s part of that World Security Council I was talking to in [The Avengers], just he wasn’t there. We also know each other because we’ve been comrades for a very long time. … There’s some stuff that’s said that gives you an idea of how he’s been part of that environment for a long time and the kind of guy he was.”
Perhaps most interesting is Jackson’s insight into his character and his relationship with the members of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Avengers team. Jackson specifically talks having to balance Fury’s relationship with various members of his team as he’s forced to act as a comrade, superior, father figure, and mentor, all in one character:
“There’s always stuff to deal with when I’m being Nick. Everything has another meaning with Nick. Finding the truth of what he’s saying in that particular moment is the important thing. Ultimately there’s a lie in there somewhere. Sometimes it’s a lie he’s been told that he hasn’t discovered, so I have to deal with that all the time.
There’s also the nature of his relationship with different people. Like when he talks to Cap, he can talk to Cap in several different ways. He can talk to him as an equal in terms of they were both soldiers from a specific era, and you understand his kind of morality. He can also talk to him as a guy who’s part of a world he doesn’t know anything about, and he’s a mentor now to help him do something. And then I speak to him sometimes as a boss. There’s all those things I have to blend in to make sure he doesn’t get rankled or ruffled in a certain kind of way and make sure he understands.
And when I talk to Natasha [Romanoff aka Black Widow], it’s as a father figure because he loves her in a way that he doesn’t love anybody else as part of that whole group of people. The fact that they’re both members of this shadow world and he knows her past in a way that no one else knows it, there’s an affection and a respect there and a knowledge of that kind of person she is in there. Even if she loves him, if she had to kill him, she would, and he understands that. There’s a way of dealing with her that he can’t deal with anybody else. There are all kinds of things that happen.
When I’m dealing with the world council, I’ve got a whole other attitude. And when I look in the mirror, I have to deal with what kind of patriot am I? There’s Nick dealing with Nick, and how many lies have I told? Have I told so many lies that I don’t really know what’s the truth anymore?”
Captain America: The Winter Soldier is currently in post-production and set to hit theaters on April 4th, 2014!