Captain America: Winter Soldier — Building The Cast: Samuel L. Jackson

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One person Steve Rogers often turns to is Nick Fury, played again by Samuel L. Jackson. As the director of S.H.I.E.L.D., the peacekeepers of the modern world, Fury faces many challenges following the events of “Marvel’s The Avengers.” “Nick Fury is back on home soil and dealing with rebuilding,” says Samuel L. Jackson. “So he’s gearing up to make the world a bit more secure and must bring Steve Rogers into the 21st century. Nick is feeling pretty good about himself and has convinced the World Security Council that Super Heroes can be beneficial in making the world a safer place.”

Jackson continues, “Steve Rogers is still not sure about how we run things at S.H.E.I.L.D or how the government has intruded into everyone’s lives and that people’s freedoms are being infringed upon. So he’s having these moments of introspection.”

“Nick Fury’s in a place in this movie where the head of any clandestine organization would find themselves—he’s having to deal with the security of the world by lying to people and doing things covertly in order to protect them,” explains Joe Russo. “He says in the movie early on that he’s been motivated to do this because of New York and now he wants to preemptively protect the world; new threats are making themselves known and he feels like he needs new weapons to deal with them.”

For Nick Fury, earning Steve Rogers trust is not easy and the two often find themselves on opposite ends of spectrum when it comes to dealing with outside forces and threats to world security. “Steve Rogers is a little combative with Nick Fury,” says Samuel L. Jackson. “He thinks that Nick plays both sides against the middle and so he’s a little wary of what he does. So Steve Rogers is trying to find the fine balance between the government, his place in it, and what this shadow world is that he’s now a part of.”

Feige feels that this film is a “culmination” for Sam Jackson. “He’s popped up as Nick Fury many, many times for us now, and in this film we get to see more of him than we’ve ever seen before,” informs the producer. “We get to see him struggle with where he’s found himself in his role as director of S.H.I.E.L.D. It’s fun to have an actor who’s played a character for so long to be able to now sink his teeth into it in another way, and we spend more time with him and alone with him than we have in any of the other films.”

Feige continues, “In a lot of ways, he is what drives this story forward. He is—as Nick Fury always is—behind the scenes manipulating the agenda and the plot of the film, but in this one it’s really a character turn for him. He gets to motivate much of what Steve Rogers does. They have a real philosophical difference and we get to see how Steve is changed by Nick over the course of this movie, but even more importantly how Nick is changed by Steve.”

For Samuel L. Jackson, putting on the long black jacket and eye-patch of Nick Fury is a labor of love for the actor. “I really enjoy going back into this world and putting my scar on and becoming Nick Fury,” admits Samuel Jackson. “He’s a know-it-all, impervious-to-the-world kind of dude who’s a real patriot but has his own view of how things should be run and how the country should be protected. He has his people around him whom he’s learned to trust, and they trust him as well. His leadership ability is impeccable. So it’s always a joy to come back into this character in this space.”

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