Samuel L. Jackson Kept Shaft Tough

Monday, June 12th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Samuel L. Jackson said he was the cat who wouldn't cop out when there was conflict on the set of ``Shaft.''

Jackson and director John Singleton said the studio wanted to soften the lead character.

John Shaft, a hip New York detective known for his hot temper, cool style and womanizing ways was played by Richard Roundtree in the original movie. Roundtree reprises that role in the new version and Jackson plays his nephew in the lead role, also a hip New York detective named John Shaft.

But Jackson wanted no part of a kinder, gentler Shaft.

``I wanted to be faithful to what I think the 'Shaft' movie is, so I'm not going to get bullied or allow whoever else is being bullied into doing something that I don't want to do just to defuse (an argument,)'' Jackson said in Sunday's Daily News of Los Angeles.

In the end, Singleton agreed to cut much of the sex from the movie, but kept the violent action sequences.

``We're living in an even more puritanical society than we were 30 years ago. So it's OK for Shaft to bash somebody's head in, but to show him (having sex), well, that would offend women, I guess,'' he said.