Spike Lee has won endless acclaim for his films, ranging from debut “She’s Gotta Have It” to the incendiary “Do the Right Thing” to his biopic “Malcolm X”, yet the celebrated director has yet to win an Oscar.
Samuel L. Jackson thinks this could be Lee’s year, with his latest, “BlacKkKlansman”, seeing Lee nominated in the Best Director category.
“Oh, it would be great,” Jackson said in a recent interview with Indiewire.
However, Jackson — who starred in Lee’s provocative 2015 musical crime drama “Chi-raq” and landed one of his earliest onscreen roles in 1988’s “School Daze” — thinks that Lee’s legacy will loom large, Oscar or no Oscar.
“I don’t think not having an Oscar would diminish his career at all,” said Jackson, soon to be seen reprising the role of Nick Fury in “Captain Marvel”.
“He is who he is, and there are a lot of people, me included, that have benefited from what he did,” said the 70-year-old star. “There is no doubt that, had I not done ‘Jungle Fever,’ I don’t know if I’d be here or not, sitting in this chair. It propelled me into this arena, and I’m forever grateful for it, and I hope he does win.”
In addition to Lee’s cinematic output, Jackson also praised the impact he’s had by inspiring the next generation of directors.
“Spike opened the door for a lot of young directors,” Jackson said. “He made a lot of young filmmakers aware of the possibilities, that they could tell their own stories and be successful, that they could tell their own stories their way, that there was an interest in their stories and that all you need to do is hang in there and do what you do.”
While Lee was awarded an honourary Oscar in 2015, he has only ever received two nominations: one for Best Original Screenplay for “Do the Right Thing” and a Best Documentary Feature nomination for 1998’s “4 Little Girls”.