Hollywood Notebook: Even super-cool Samuel L. Jackson impressed by Robert Redford

The Fresno BeeApril 6, 2014 

Samuel L. Jackson — who plays Nick Fury in the new "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" — is one of the coolest people working in Hollywood.

That's why it says a lot when Jackson says he was excited to work with Robert Redford in the new action film. He had met Redford years ago during a trip to Sundance, but he missed several opportunities over the years to work on a film with him. Jackson made up for lost time during the filming of the latest "Captain America" movie, which opened in theaters Friday.

"That morning when I got there to work with him for the first time, we sat down and we talked about a lot of different things. We talked about golf. We talked about life. We talked about movies. So by the time we got on set, it did look like we spent time together or had some past and some darker and more medieval state of counter-insurgency," Jackson says. "It was a great experience. He's professional. He knew his lines. He wanted to do it. He wanted to try them different ways.

"He wanted to make things better and that's part of coming into the Marvel universe. People come in and they see what we do and they kind of want to blend into it and make things better, and as we continue to do it, things do get better."

There's a lot that happens to Fury in the new film that Jackson can't specifically talk about. He does say that when he began reading the script he felt it was more than just a comic book feature because of all the intrigue and surprises. He likes that it requires the audience to pay close attention to the story.

Jackson loves playing Fury — so much so he only asks for one thing: "We just ask not to be killed."

Data entry

There's really nothing funny when my computer makes a noise like a weed wacker. But the center for all computer glory is the target for comedy in the new series, "Silicon Valley," from Mike Judge, the man behind "King of the Hill."

"Silicon Valley," which airs 10 p.m. Sundays on HBO, will run eight episodes.

Judge knows the Silicon Valley region because he worked there in the late 1980s. He started with a company that tested automatic systems for the F-18 and then went to a company that made high-definition screens. His last job was with a company that focused on bass and guitar amps.

His time there gave him an interesting perspective on those who work in Silicon Valley.

"I think it's funny that just noticing — even before doing the show — that a lot of these people, it's not enough that they just make billions of dollars. They also have to say they're saving the world in all kinds of ways, and that's just kind of funny," Judge says. "The Bay Area, that's where the whole hippie movement started. And there's still a lot of that lingering around. So they all have to kind of shroud their capitalism with this 'we're-making-the-world-a-better-place' thing, which is kind of a running theme."

He's not done a lot with that tech world since leaving for TV animation. Judge got to meet with some of the tech billionaires just before 2000 when he was looking for new technology to produce animation. Those meetings, combined with his own experiences and some additional research, help Judge shine a light on the strange and brilliant characters from Silicon Valley.

 

TV and movie critic Rick Bentley can be reached at (559) 441-6355, rbentley@fresnobee.com or @RickBentley1 on Twitter. Read his blog at www.fresnobeehive.com.

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