Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Why hasn't Samuel L. Jackson played a wizard yet?

A quick word on how cool Samuel L. Jackson is...

Comic book nerds will be familiar with a character named Nick Fury. Well, years ago when they decided to reboot the comic books they specifically asked Sam Jackson if they could draw Nick Fury, (previously a white character), to look like our hero Sam with an eyepatch.

This character was seen in the epilogue to the Iron Man movie and all the nerds made a mess in their pants to see Samuel Jackson for less than a minute. I mean, the guy puts on an eyepathc, says two lines and gets applause.

The latest news is that Jackson has signed an unprecedented contract to do 9 movies as Nick Fury! This blows my mind. The man will spend the twilight of his life playing this character. In fact if you were to go to Samuel L. Jackson's Wikipedia page, his life is divided into chapters. Among those chapters is (the years), 70s to 80s, 90s, 2000s... Nick Fury!? That is a chapter of his life???

Think about it, these 9 movies have not even been written yet. They haven't even cast the lead roles! The only thing they really know about these movies, is that Samuel L. Jackson will be in it, probably for no more than 5-10 minutes in each.

Studio Exec: "Soooo... what are these movies about?"
Other Studio Exec: "I don't know..."
Studio Exec: "Who's playing the leads??"
Other guy: "Who cares??? Just get Samuel Jackson a motha f**kin' contract!!!"

Who's cooler than Samuel L. Jackson? He's been a cop, a hitman, a super hero, a Jedi Master. The only role he hasn't played yet is a wizard. But there's still plenty of time.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Black people who remind me of me

I was recently featured in the Community Contact, a paper for the Carribean Black community in Montreal. It was very flattering. Among other things they mentionned that it was unusual for a 27 year old Black guy to get a PhD in Biology. It hearkenned me back to memories of last Christmas. I was in a Hallmark store when an aquaintance of mine recognized me. He told me, "You know, I thought of you recently, I saw a movie..."

I knew where this was going, having seen I Am Legend starring Will Smith a few weeks earlier. He said, "The main character was a Biologist... Studying diseases and stuff. He fought zombies... He was also..." Here he hesitated, not certain of how to say what he had committed himself to saying. I nodded my head, encouragingly, "Yes... It's okay. He was Black. A Black Biologist just like me."

I'll tell you something; IMMEDIATELY after seeing I Am Legend I KNEW that someone would make the comparison. I wonder how many people in the world watched that movie and thought to themselves, "You know who's Black and is getting a PhD in Biology? That Black guy who's Black... Chris Gregg!"
Zombie genocide aside, I guess I am very much like Will Smith. Maybe with a slightly better physique. As a 27 year old black guy I've been compared to many black people most of whom are not like me at all aside from the fact that they're Black. When I went to China I have been compared to Michael Jordan, Will Smith... I guess it's not a bad thing that someone I hadn't seen in years thought of me immediately when he saw a black person in the field of Biology. Have I become the archetype for Black Biologists within the network of people who know me? If so... Awesome.
Let's think of other Black people who remind me of me.

Denzel Washington. Reason he reminds me of me: He's black.

Winston Zedmore from Ghostbusters. Reason he reminds me of me: He's black and he hunts ghosts.

Eddie Murphy from Coming to America. The main character in this motion picture is black.

Oprah is Black.

There are certainly others. Let's celebrate Black History month together by reflecting on Black people who remind you of me and the reasons.