Samuel L Jackson reveals how he used personal experience to portray dementia sufferer in new drama

Virgin Radio

9 Mar 2022, 15:22

Credit: AppleTV+

Credit: AppleTV+

We’re used to seeing Hollywood superstar Samuel L Jackson play sharp-talking movie characters, so his role in an upcoming series might come as a surprise. 

The Last Days Of Ptolemy Grey, which starts this week on Apple TV+, sees the actor play a 91-year-old man who suffers from dementia and has been “forgotten by his family, by his friends, and by even himself.”

Jackson has revealed that he used personal experience when working on the six-part series. “I was close to it. My mother, grandfather and my aunt all had dementia and I watched them deteriorate in specific kinds of ways,” he said in an interview with Metro.

“I remember how they were affected by me talking to them and seeing the look on their face as they tried to remember something I thought they should remember… until I learned not to ask those kinds of questions.”

The actor went on to explain, however, that the situations weren’t always sad.”I remember my mom and my aunt being at my house walking around the yard together, and both of them were in the throes of Alzheimer’s, but were enjoying each other like they were two kids,” he said.

The star of Pulp Fiction and Snakes on a Plane, who is now 73, told Metro that he took those moments into the creation of the series. “There’s all kinds of wonderful memories and all kinds of sad memories that go into it and hopefully I was able to find ways of putting those things on-screen.”

The Last Days Of Ptolemy Grey sees Jackson’s character assigned to the care of orphaned teenager Robyn, played by Dominique Fishback. They discover a treatment that can restore his memories, which starts a journey toward some shocking truths about the past, present and indeed the future.

The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey will be released on Apple TV+ on March 11th.