Ahem, that guy’s ours, isn’t he?

Big Jack Charlton may have raided the ranks of English soccer for grandsons of Erin, but it cuts two ways. Samuel L. Jackson, the screen legend, was recently interviewed by Kate Thornton on T.V. about working with Colin Farrell in S.W.A.T. when the following conversation took place. Thanks to reader J Kelly:

Kate: What’s it like working with Colin, ‘cos he is just so hot in the U.K. right now.

Samuel: He’s pretty hot in the U.S. too

Kate: Yea! But he’s one of our own!

Samuel: Isn’t he from Ireland

Kate: Yeah, but we claim him ‘cos Ireland is beside us.

Samuel: You see that’s your problem right there. You British keep claiming people that don’t belong to you. We had that problem in America too – it was called slavery.

Thanks to Mike_H here’s the rest of the exchange:

KT: Well Colin is a very well paid slave.

SLJ: Ok good.

KT: As are you.

SLJ: Yeah all right.

  • Mike H

    Not exactly what happened but close enough – The full transcript is here:
    http://taint.org/2003/12/16/015858a.html

  • Rory

    Wicked, Mick! I love it. Jackson goes straight into my box of badass good guys.

    Yesterday on BBC Radio 4’s “Gardeners’ Question Time” the Chairman alluded to Gordon Brown’s “nationality” suggestion that we might all consider the erection flagpoles and flying the Union flag on our lawns (a wee bit tricky in a high rise in Hackney but any thought of erection is always interesting at my age). He then asked the panellists which flower or plant they would consider best represented their nation’s culture and sensibilities within the Union.He turned first to Ulsterman, Bob Cushnan, and then expressed his understanding that this task might be a bit sensitive in his case.

    But our man, Bob, was well up for the task. “Well”, he said, ” We’ve been walked all over, trodden down, but we keep springing up again, green as ever. So I’d have to go for grass”.

    ” Hurrah”, Bob, and large Bushmills all round.

  • DK

    Yes Mick missed the follow up, which is kind of important:

    KT: Well Colin is a very well paid slave.

    SLJ: Ok good.

    KT: As are you.

    SLJ: Yeah all right.

    Which puts the SLJ perspecive in proportion – i.e. that slavery/colonialism are ancient history now.

    On another note, does that mean the UK can now claim U2 on the Jack Charlton Premise that one quarter of them are english?

  • Barcas

    Who the devil is Kate Thornton?

  • J Kelly

    DK this isn’t about SLJ attitude its about how the British Media attempt to adopt anything Irish that is successful. Even worse its an English Media thing.

  • smcgiff

    ‘On another note, does that mean the UK can now claim U2 on the Jack Charlton Premise that one quarter of them are english?’

    As if they haven’t been claimed as British before!

  • foreign correspondent

    Well done, Samuel,
    makes me feel like going out and buying DVD´s of all his films as a token of my appreciation.
    See also Christy Moore´s song, ´On The Mainland´ about the ´British´ Nobel prize-winner Seamus Heaney getting adopted by the Yoo Kay. It´s a classic.

  • Ivor Dewdney

    Barcas- think vacuous ITV presenter and you won’t go far wrong.

  • Stephen Copeland

    J Kelly,

    … the British Media attempt to adopt anything Irish that is successful

    On the other hand, they sometimes do us a favour by actually adopting some of our cast-offs. Terry Woeful, Eamon Holmes, Graham Norton …

    And then again, some of our best (?), like Pierce Brosnan, actually mimick the english so well that they probably don’t even know that they aren’t english.

  • james orr

    Maybe she should have said:
    “Yeah, but we claim him ‘cos Ireland is economically dependent upon us”

    😉

  • Rory

    Very true, Stephen Copeland, but our best revenge has always been Micael MacLiammoir.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Maybe she should have said:
    “Yeah, but we claim him ‘cos Ireland is economically dependent upon us”

    At which point SLJ could have retorted, ‘listen dear, we already write your foreign policy, don’t have me re-write this interview.’

  • Mr Angry

    “On another note, does that mean the UK can now claim U2 on the Jack Charlton Premise that one quarter of them are english?”

    Sorry, I think you’ll find Dave Evans (The Edge)is actually Welsh.

  • Stephen Copeland

    Sorry, Mr Angry, but: Dave ‘The Edge’ Evans was born in Barking, Essex, in East London, to parents of Welsh descent, Gwenda and Garvin Evans. When he was one year old, the family – which included younger sister Gill and older brother Dick – moved to Dublin, where he has lived ever since.

  • Ziznivy

    And constitutionally Wales is a principality in England.

  • George

    Is the Edge not an Irish citizen?

  • TAFKABO

    Hey, they took Westlife and I didn’t hear many Irish people complaining.

  • smcgiff

    ‘Hey, they took Westlife and I didn’t hear many Irish people complaining.’

    I think they were swaped for Jeremy Irons. And no – You can’t have him back!

  • Jacko 92

    Great exchange from old Samuel L Jackson, one hell of an actor too.

    The rest of the discussion is crap – everybody tries to claim everybody else.
    Even Muhammad Ali was shoe-horned into the Irish diaspora thing (the word diaspora itself was pinched from Judaism).

    Though, having said that, I hope you all realise that Jonathan Swift was English and a Prod.

  • Stephen Copeland

    I will be forever grateful to our friends across the water for taking:

    Terry Wogan
    Val Doonican
    Dave Allen
    The Nolans
    Eamon Holmes
    Graham Norton
    Patrick Kielty
    Ruth Dudley Edwards

    And many many other. On the whole I think the trade has been very positive for Ireland. We have received The Edge, Sting (briefly), loads of writers, and only the occasional bad apple (a certain Kevin Myers comes to mind).

  • DK

    “this isn’t about SLJ attitude its about how the British Media attempt to adopt anything Irish that is successful. Even worse its an English Media thing.”

    Any examples? I can think of a few the other way round: e.g. Jack Charlton, Phil Lynott, The Pogues, St Patrick, Robert Shaw, Ned Kelly, anyone with an Irish sounding name.

    Probably it is more to do with the fact the the British and Irish are far more culturally close than either are with the Americans. That is what Kate means by “one of our own” – the English & Irish have a lot more in common with each other than with the Americans.

  • J Kelly

    Eddie Ervine, Tony Mc Coy, George Best, Roy Keane, Corrs, U2 need i go on

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Stephen,

    Dave Alen wasn’t too bad for his time, how about swapping him for The Bachelors.

  • Glyn

    Only a quarter of U2 are English? I thought most of them were, can someone give a quick rundown.

  • George

    Stephen Roche when he won the Tour de France in 1997 was pedalled (if you pardon the pun) as the first British winner.

  • missfitz

    Can we make a list of people we would like the Brits to adopt?

    Well, I would nominate Michael McDowell to start, or is this not playing balls?

  • I suspect the minister of justice has a thicker skin than some of the people that get attacked on Slugger. Having said that, I’m not sure where the ball actually is in this thread.

    It might be more challenging to hear from people who they’d like to adopt as Irish. Any one for Morrissey, or do we have him already?

  • Manc

    We already own the Smiths 🙂

    Can I just make sure we get the Beatles and Oasis too. I’ll do some more digging and see if we can get Radiohead for the team too. Me da would be proud.

    I saw the interview in question months, possibly even a year, ago. Samuel L Jackson seemed genuinely upset by the suggestion the Colin was Irish. It was hillarious. Fair play to the man.

  • missfitz

    Well, I would take Nelson Mandela. I’ve never had the privilege of meeting him, but he seems to exude a gentle humanity and extraordinary warmth. I’ve read his books and they moved me to tears.

    Nelson Mandela for honoary gael.

  • Mick Fealty

    Manc,

    Under what auspices have we sequestered Morrissey: name; ancestry; or self election?

  • Rory

    Not Morrissey, please. Surely Ireland has had more than its share of misery, doom and gloom without adding to it by importing the world’s leading wholesaler of these commodities.

    Let’s have Catherine Zeta-Jones (sans Michael, natch) instead. Interviwed by The Times upon the release of “Zorro” she was asked if she attributed her raven haired beauty to her “Mediterranean ancestors”. She laughed and said “No. Black Irish for generations my family”.
    Now that girl would put a smile on a dead man’s face and wipe away all gloom.

  • I agree with Stephen C. on comment no. 20 on all counts (I’m quite happy for Wogan, Kielty, Norton et al to stay there and become English if they like, but with the exception of the late great Dave Allen. Come on, the man was a comic genius! He broke the mould before anyone knew it was breakable. May his God (even though he didn’t believe in one) go with him.

  • Stephen Copeland

    Northern Sole,

    Regarding Dave Allen, I have only vague memories of his humour, which was funny. But my gripe with him was his tendency to play the stage Irishman – to play a part that was defined, not by his real self, but by what his English audience expected. As such he used to embarrass me, and to reinforce stereotypes that were then used negatively by the English against all Irish people.

  • So, Stephen you object to Allen’s tendency “to reinforce stereotypes that were then used negatively by the English against all Irish people” – fair point, but I think Jimmy Cricket did a much better job of this than Dave Allen could ever have imagined. And Cricket wasn’t even funny. I’m not surprised that he’s been reduced to doing tacky pantomimes in dreary seaside towns.

  • Stephen Copeland

    Northern Sole,

    I don’t know Jimmy Cricket, so cannot comment. On the other hand, not all ‘exaggerated stereotypes’ are, or can be, used at reinforce a prejudice. Father Ted (et al) took the monumental piss out of a whole range of Irish stereotypes and I (along with most people I know) found it hugely funny, and not in the least embarrassing. I guess its all in the eye of the beholder. Maybe I just didn’t get Dave Allen.

    PS England, can we please have Ardal O’Hanlon back now? You’re had him long enough!

  • P Ring

    Ardal lives in Dublin and has done for donkey’s years.

  • Rory

    On Dave Allen – I must say I shared some of Stephen C’s misgivings. The English liked him because he was a safe Irishman, he poked fun at Irish customs and Irish Catholicism and the nervous laughter that he evoked from his English audiences was a sympton of their quiet confirmation of their prejudices. To be fair to Allen, I do not believe that was his intention, he was truly attempting to subvert the whole genre of the stage Irishman and he once on stage in London told a long rambling story that had the audience chortling but when the punchline came – the butt of the joke was the Englishman. Total silence! “You didn’t like that one, did you?”, he said. And indeed they didn’t.

    I once watched him on stage in London after a triumphal world tour and he was talking about the silliness of sexual reticence and sexual education and how people coyly refered to genitalia in front of children with terms like “pee-pee” and “bottom” and he asked the audience how they referred to their daughters’ genatalia in front of the child. This lazy, cut glass voice of a Hampstead lady spoke up and slightly puzzlingly, as if, what other than? said “Vagina”. Allen nearly choked on his whiskey as his whole build-up fell flat, but he did make a gracious recovery.

    I later saw him perhaps a year or so before he died. I was at a theatre bar during the interval and just happened to be chatting with a pretty attractive woman who just happened to be seated next to me. I saw Dave Allen enter and saw that he spotted the woman and was taken with her (as who wouldn’t be, she was a fine looking woman). He came up to the counter and squeezed between us and spoke an excuse and said “Hello” and waited. It was painful. He was clearly waiting for the woman to recognise him and be impressed. But she didn’t and she wasn’t. All she saw was a slightly dishevelled older man in need of a haircut who seemed almost on the point of making unwanted advances. He ordered a whiskey, really putting on the “Dave Allen” accent and then very ostentatiously held it displaying his famous digital impairment. All to no avail. As we all grew increasingly more uncomfortable he finally moved away. The woman rolled her eyes and I felt so sad for him. I never said to her who he was perhaps feeling some need to protect his dignity.

    I was happy to see his series repeated recently on BBCTV and to remember how good he could be when he was good and for all my reservations he could be very good indeed.

  • Stephen Copeland

    Ardal lives in Dublin and has done for donkey’s years.

    Hmm. Maybe so, but in a television sense he is still in England, as far as I can see.

  • Rory

    “In a televisual sense he’s still in England”.

    That explains a lot. I always wondered how the famous Italian Franciscan stigmata, Padre Pio, managed his trick of bilocation (being seen in two places gegraphically distant from each other at the same time). Only trouble is they didn’t have many television sets in Italy in his day and anyway they all would have been monochrome.

    The next time the wife catches me out drinking with a floozie I’ll put it to her that while I might have been seen in that particular bar, with that particular woman at that particular time, it was only in a televisual sense.

  • missfitz

    Rory that was a lovely and sad story you told, you really can tell’em. Thanks

  • Rory

    Why thank you, missfitz. Compliments seem to be as rare as New Labour integruty on this site so I greatly appreciate it.

    Regards

    Rory

  • missfitz

    Pleasure Rory.

    As part of the process of studying Irish identity, you come to the point where you have de-constructed it to such a degree you are quite convinved that there are no unique features about being Irish. We are no more oppressed, no poorer, richer, funnier, drunker, celtic, religious, devout or anything else than anyone else.

    But I think we can still tell a great story, and yours finsihed off my Patricks night just beautifully. I enjoy all of your posts, they appear very informed and rational tempered with experience.

    Cheeers!

  • Rory

    You’ll have me blushing, MissFitz. I have to admit that I’m generally poorer than most and it has been suspected on the odd occassion that I might have been drunker than most but I am not generally considered to be rich, religious, devout or indeed more Celtic than anyone else (apart from Norman Tebbit, of course). I am told that I can sometimes be funny (if you are able to share my quirkiness) but I’d have to practise for a long time to get to be as funny as, say, the lovely late Linda Smith, “the greatest Englishwoman who ever lived” as Jeremy Hardy described her.

    I used to say to my English friends, “If Thatcher and Blair made you feel ashamed to be English then you always have Linda Smith to make you feel proud”. Alas! no more.

    Anyway, enough of all this, we’ll have the neighbours talking.

    Take care.

  • Ciaran

    Sure we won the world cup in 66′

  • Manc

    “Manc,

    Under what auspices have we sequestered Morrissey: name; ancestry; or self election?”

    Name – Check
    Ancestry – Check
    Self Election – Well half so. “Irish Blood, English Heart” after all.

    There is a great book which covers a lot of Morrissey’s youth which I have back home in my parents house. I think it’s called “Morrissey & Marr” but I can’t for the life of me think of the author. I believe both his mother and father are Irish immigrants.