Jackson told me he has never had an unpleasant experience in public like a lot of actors have who go out in public with bodyguards. “I walk the streets, take the train, it’s real simple. Some actors create their own mythology.” He assumed a self-pitying voice: “Oh, I’m so famous I can’t go places, because I created this mythology that I’m so famous I can’t go places.”
What Jackson loves most about acting, though, is the process, the satisfaction of taking the job seriously. “I was raised by my grandfather, a janitor,” he said. “As a boy, I went with him to clean offices. I learned a man gets up in the morning, he goes to work.” Before shooting, Jackson reads his script a dozen times, sometimes memorizing all the other characters’ lines as well as his own. Jackson is almost pathologically meticulous about hitting his mark, picking up a prop, say, on the same word, take after take. “That’s called playing the movie game,” he said.