Laurence Fishburne reveals why he turned down Sam Jackson Pulp Fiction role

Last Updated on July 30, 2021

It's hard to imagine anyone but Samuel L. Jackson playing Jules Winnfield in Quentin Tarantino's PULP FICTION but it appears another actor was in mind for the role. Laurence Fishburne once had his shot to potentially star in the film but the bone of contention seems to be the exact reason he turned the role down.

Earlier this year, Tarantino spoke about the characters in PULP FICTION and he revealed that he wrote Jules Winnfield specifically for Fishburne. According to Tarantino, Fishburne ended up turning down the role because it wasn't a leading man part that would have featured his name getting top billing. This then opened the door for Samuel L. Jackson to get the career-making role that earned him an Oscar nomination. That's Tarantino's side of it at least. Even though all's well that ends well, Fishburne revealed that this was not the reason he turned the role down and it had everything to do with heroin use in the film.

In response to Tarantino's story, Fishburne disputed his claims and stated "I just had a problem with the way heroin use was dealt with. I just felt it was a little cavalier, and it was a little loose. I felt like it made heroin use attractive. For me, it's not just my character. It's, 'What is the whole thing saying?'…It wasn't about my character in Pulp Fiction. It was about the way in which the heroin thing was delivered. And the whole f***ing thing with the hypodermic and adrenaline shot? No." Fishburne's reasoning is so specific so I'm kind of leaning on his recollection of events over Tarantino's. It's possible that Fishburne's people had an issue with the size of the role and he had no idea that was conveyed to Tarantino but I just can't see Fishburne being that kind of person, even then. 

It's interesting that in the same interview, conducted by "Vulture", it was revealed that Fishburne missed out on another role that ultimately went to Samuel L. Jackson. Fishburne was cast in DIE HARD WITH A VENGEANCE but, according to Fishburne, he was told at the 11th hour that they changed their minds and wanted to go with Jackson. Fishburne suspects that it ultimately came down to money because at the time Fishburne's salary requests were larger than Jackson's.  Apparently there are no hard feelings and his sings Jackson's praises a few times during the interview. 

Do YOU think Laurence Fishburne would've been a good choice over Samuel L Jackson for PULP FICTION?

Source: Vulture

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