Samuel Jackson's worst audition: 'I smelt of alcohol'

Samuel L Jackson says he used to turn up to auditions drunk and smelling of alcohol. Photo / AP
Samuel L Jackson says he used to turn up to auditions drunk and smelling of alcohol. Photo / AP

Samuel L Jackson has revealed he would turn up to auditions stinking of alcohol.

The 64-year-old star - who is known for his roles in Pulp Fiction, Star Wars and Django Unchained - is one of the most wanted actors across the globe by producers, but he admits his career got off to a slow start because he was an alcoholic and using drugs which affected his abilities as a performer.

Speaking on UK TV show This Morning, he said: "I was doing a lot of drugs and doing a lot of drinking because I had a theatre teacher at university who said, 'If you want to be one of the great ones, you have to learn how to handle your alcohol and do all these other things while you're performing' ... and we took that to heart and we did it.

"So maybe when I went to auditions I smelt of alcohol and my eyes were a little red and I didn't get specific jobs, but I continued to do what I was doing."

Jackson overdosed several times on heroin in the 1990s and then got hooked on cocaine and was later admitted to a rehab clinic in New York City.

He believes his stint in the treatment facility helped him land the role as a cocaine addict in Jungle Fever, which kick-started his Hollywood career.

Jackson - who is currently involved in the One for the Boys men's health campaign - explained: "I hid it [the addiction] quite well, because everyone was quite shocked when I went into rehab ... but amazingly enough when I did go to rehab the job came along that propelled me into Hollywood - Jungle Fever - and it was almost a carbon copy of what I'd been doing with my life anyway, so I'd done the research."

- Bang! Showbiz

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