Does The Avengers live up to the hype? Absolutely! This movie has taught me some valuable lessons this week: Mark Ruffalo is a better Banner than Edward Norton (which I can’t believe I’m saying because I LOVE Edward Norton), there is no such thing as too many super heroes in one movie, Robert Downey, Jr. did deserve the second and third chances he got to resurrect his career because he simply rocks as Iron Man, there is a time and place for spandex and leather, and most importantly that if there was ever any doubt, rest assured that Samuel L. Jackson really is one bad mother… shut yo mouth! I had the chance to sit down with Mr. Jackson who plays the cooler than cool Nick Fury to talk about the movie and if he really is anything like his on screen persona.
Your character Nick Fury is really expanded in The Avengers, what will folks learn about him that wasn’t brought out before?
In this particular film, we finally find out more about S.H.I.E.L.D through Nick and what his Avengers Initiative actually is that he’s spoken about before. You see a base of operations that’s very different from the little office that you’ve seen him in before in the helicare area and you find out he has some pretty interesting toys to play with and a pretty big organization around him.
Why does he assemble the Avengers?
Loki, who is Thor’s brother has come in from some other dimension somewhere, and he’s gathering forces to invade the earth, and the only means I know of fighting them is to bring in the Avengers.
What makes Nick integral to the film?
He’s the guy who understands the threat and has to get them [the Avengers] to understand the nature of the threat [and] that we’re a lot stronger together than we are individually.
Fury seems to play by his own rules and lives by his own instincts; is that anything like you in real life?
I’ve bent a few rules in my life. I understand the rules of the world I live in, like we tried to do in this [The Avengers movie] when Joss [director Joss Whedon] set up the standard of what this particular place was. It’s an ordinary world with extraordinary people in it. So, you try and live by and react to situations according to those rules.
Of all the Avengers, Fury seems to have the most contentious relationship with Iron Man. Can you talk a little about the dynamic between those two?
Robert always brings a specific kind of energy that people know, love and understand. It’s interesting watching the integration of his energy with Captain America, his energy with Thor. He has knowledge of Black Widow because she was in his organization for a while. He has affection for her actually. But, he has a sense of autonomy that you kind of have to break though that no matter what he’s doing it always seems like he’s an island, and even though he’s an integral part of this team, you can’t tell him he’s the most important or strongest part of the team, because then he’ll take it over. It’s just in his nature; so, I kind of have to reign him in and constantly remind him that his father and I had this relationship.
You mentioned the film’s director Joss Whedon earlier. What do you feel he brought to the film?
He brings a true understanding of what a comic book is and what comic book characters represent to the people who want to watch the film. He’s put together a film that he would pay his money to go and see, and that I would pay my money to go and see, and that understanding is quite essential to this particular film because there are so many different characters that have their own individual personalities, and he knows how to set up the conflicts between the characters and how to solve them. And he knows how to make us all feel like a big unit when we work together. His dialogue is comic book driven. I don’t work with a lot of people that correct me when I’m doing my lines and say, “Well, I wrote it this way; so, try it that way, and let me hear it.” But he did that more often than not.
How collaborative was working with Whedon?
Not very. He’s a dictator. He tells you what to do, and you do it. Fortunately for us, Joss has a very clear understanding of what that world is, and how it works. And how these individuals fit in it and how they fit with each other or don’t fit in terms of rubbing each other the wrong way and trying to test each other to gain a measure of respect.
What can audiences expect?
I remember how excited everyone was when we showed up onstage at Comic Con, and we were just standing in our street clothes, and I do think that they want an exciting film, a film that has some complexity. I think they want a conclusion that is extremely heroic, and not just heroic and hopefully, we’ve been able to do that.
And finally, if you had to choose between anyone other than Nick Fury, which Avenger would you be?
Probably the Hulk so I can lose it every now and then, just kind of blow it all out and tear some stuff up and then it’s all ok.
If you are one of the 15 people who have not seen this movie, what the heck are you waiting for? Go see it…today…right now! It’s just good, old-fashioned movie going fun where you can forget about all the serious stuff going on in the world today and believe in a time when good always conquered evil in the end. The Avengers is rated PG-13 for extreme super hero action!