• Golden Globe Awards

Out of the Archives: Samuel L. Jackson on “Eve’s Bayou”

Samuel L. Jackson played a philandering Louisiana doctor in Eve’s Bayou written and directed by Kasi Lemmon. He spoke to journalists of the Hollywood Foreign Press about this movie in 1997.
“I found those people immediately attractive, and the beauty of the story itself. It’s not the kind of story that we see often, not just in an ethnic sense but in a cinematic sense, it was unique and fresh, and I thought it deserved telling. Essentially that’s what we are, storytellers, and I was lucky to find a part that was this interesting man, in a world full of beautiful women, so I got in touch with my feminine side in a lot of ways, whether I wanted to or not, it was that kind of experience.”
“I’ve known Kasi Lemmons for a very long time. She, her husband and I, all of us interacted and pounded the pavements in New York looking for jobs and trying to work, everyone had a dream. After I read that script, I looked at the author’s name, it was Kasi, and she wanted to direct it. So, all of a sudden, things started to fall into place, and you just know that fate is making something happen. Apparently, Kasi has this wonderfully vivid imagination that she mixed with some stories from her life and dreams, that she was able to remember and write down into short stories and put them together in this screenplay form that became Eve’s Bayou.”
“Louis was always trying to find validation for himself because he wasn’t a big city doctor, he didn’t have that kind of success, so he used his peccadilloes as food for his ego. I guess these women expected certain things from him, that he was willing to do because it was part of his healing process. His wife Roz had nothing to do with what he was doing in the street, because he was fulfilling his obligations at home also, apparently, with all those kids around him.”
“It’s interesting that there are all these psychic hotlines now, they advertise on TV stations where younger people are the viewers and they call those 800 numbers, experiment with it. There is literature that explores that whole realm and a new rejuvenation of Marie Laveau’s legend (the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans). So psychicness is coming back.”
“If I could accept growing up that Hansel and Gretel went to this lady’s house, where she was cooking kids and making cookies, this story is as easy for me to handle as that, because it’s more or less an African American folk tale or fable, where you deal with those kinds of psychic realities.”
“I’ve never been to a voodoo ritual, but when I was a child in Tennessee, we often didn’t have access to doctors and when someone in my house was sick, there were two women in my neighborhood who were voodoo doctors of a sort, they would come and look at you, you would tell them what was wrong with you, then they would go back home and concoct something, bring it back and give it to you. I actually was paid by one of these women to come to her house so that a man was the first person to go through her door every Monday morning and on New Year’s Day.”