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Last Updated: Friday May 10 2002 20:16 GMT

Samuel L Jackson talks to Newsround

Mace Windu actor Samuel L Jackson
Samuel L Jackson met Newsround's Lizo for a chat about his role in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones

Lizo: In the first movie you didn't have that much to do but this time round it's very different isn't it?
Samuel: Yeah. I seem to be in and out of the movie quite a bit. A lot of the decision making process passes through the Jedi Council so I had quite an opportunity to spend a lot more time with Yoda.

Lizo: Do you still get a thrill from being able to hold a lightsabre?
Samuel: Definitely. It's all about the law and coming into something that has its own history already. It's a dream come true for me to be in the film - the first time I saw a lightsabre switched on I wanted to pick one up.

Lizo: How difficult is it doing scenes when you're acting against nothing, just acres of blue screen?
Samuel: It's actually quite fun for me. I spent a lot of time when I was a kid fighting imaginary things in my room, so when George puts you in that big empty green room and says you're being attacked by lots of droids, you just go in there and fight as many of them as you can. I had a great time doing it. And the wonderful thing is because you don't see anything while you're filming, when you go and actually see the film itself it's amazing.

Lizo: Were you there saying 'Oh my gosh, that's actually me!!'
Samuel: Well no, I knew it was going to be me, I was just amazed at what was happening and the number of ray shots I was able to block.

Lizo: Did George ever tone you down?
Samuel: No, he likes enthusiasm. Plus, I've seen enough Star Wars films to know the Jedi and their demeanor. Also, since my character is one of the leaders of the Jedi order, I have to have a bit more calm than the average Jedi.

Lizo: Have you always been a Star Wars fan and if so what was it like finally getting to play a Jedi?
Samuel: Yeah, I was hooked from the beginning. As soon as the first one came out I was kinda sucked into it. I put the word out that I wanted to meet George Lucas and it kind of went from there. This is like a dream come true for me. It's perfect.

Lizo: How did you end up actually getting the part in the first movie?
Samuel: I was on a British chat show and they asked me if there were any directors I still wanted to work with and I said George Lucas. Somebody heard the interview and next thing you know I'm sat before George at Skywalker ranch. I told him I'd be happy with just a walk-on part as a storm trooper, so I was overjoyed when I was offered the part of a Jedi.

Lizo: Has George told you anything about what's going to be in the storyline for you in Episode III?
Samuel: No, he hasn't.

Lizo: How does George compare to director Quentin Tarantino?
Samuel: Quentin is way up the other end of the spectrum from George. George is the calm in the storm, Quentin is the storm.

Lizo: What kind of person is Mace?
Sammuel: Mace is the voice of reason. He tries to see your problem from beginning to end. He is the calm in the middle of a maelstrom. He brings all the ideas together and throws out those that don't mean anything. He's a man of action.

Lizo: Was it important for you to have a purple lightsabre?
Samuel: It wasn't important it was just a suggestion I made to George because I wanted to have a different kind of lightsabre to everyone else. He was kind enough to accommodate me.

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