BRAND NEW ON E!
Django Unchained has already proved a lightning rod for controversy, with Quentin Tarantino and Jamie Foxx getting called upon to play defense against those who've slammed the film's depiction of slavery and the African-American experience.
But leave it to Samuel L. Jackson to play a little offense.
The explosive actor, who plays Leonardo DiCaprio's servant-with-ulterior-motives in Django Unchained, put his interviewer in the hot seat a couple of weeks ago during a press junket, pressing film critic Jake Hamilton of Houston's Fox 26 to do more than dance around the N-word.
"There's been a lot of controversy surrounding the usage of the N-word in this movie," began Hamilton, to which Jackson replied, pretending not to understand: "No? Nobody? None? The word would be...?"
"I don't want to say," Hamilton said, his voice dropping to a whisper.
"Why not?" the actor fired back.
"I don't like to say it," Hamilton insisted.
"Have you ever said it?" Jackson asked. "No, sir," Hamilton said, to which Jackson dared him, "Try it."
When again Hamilton protested, Jackson said louder, "Try it!...We're not going to have this conversation unless you say it."
But when his unsuspecting prey chose to remain silent, Jackson just asked, "Want to move on to another question?"
And when Hamilton asked if Jackson wanted to say the N-word? "No, f--k no! That's not the same thing." (Let's see him blame Kenan Thompson for that one!)
"Today has been a really long and strange day," Hamilton tweeted yesterday after the video of his unexpectedly combative sit-down started to pick up steam. "I can't thank you all enough for your warm words of support. Back to normal tomorrow...right?"
"FYI: my crazy moment with Samuel L Jackson (who is one of my favorite actors) doesn't impact my LOVE of Django Unchained! #BestFilmOf2012," he also wrote.
UPDATE: Jan 4, 2013: Hamilton has released a statement, explaining his stance in the controversial interview: "The past few days have been some of the strangest of my life, but I am proud to be making headlines for standing up for what I believe in. Django Unchained is my favorite film of 2012 and Mr. Jackson is one of my favorite actors, but for a lot of reasons—ranging from moral to professional —I refuse to compromise my values because of the insistence of anyone, even if that person is a celebrity."