'Avengers' Star Samuel L. Jackson on His Explosive Fight Sequences: 'I'm Pretty Handy With a Gun' (Video)

Playing S.H.I.E.L.D. operative Nick Fury, Jackson tells THR that it was easy to learn fight choreography for the film, but he was "fine" with sitting back and letting his superhero co-stars do the heavy lifting.

Prior to his turn in the Marvel movies as Nick Fury, Samuel L. Jackson enjoyed numerous opportunities to flex his muscles as an action hero in Die Hard With a Vengeance, The Long Kiss Goodnight, and the Star Wars prequels among other films. Speaking to THR, Jackson said that those prior experiences made it easy for him to get up to speed on the physical challenges he faced in The Avengers, reprising his role as Nick Fury.

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“I learned the choreography pretty quick,” Jackson said. “I’m pretty handy with a gun – I’ve been trained by about eight different law-enforcement agencies how to handle weapons. So I’m pretty good at it.”

At the same time, Fury’s role in the film is decidedly smaller than those of the superheroes he recruits on behalf of S.H.I.E.L.D. to battle Loki’s army of invading aliens. When asked whether he felt like he missed out on the more exciting stuff the other characters get to do, Jackson was quick to admit he was happy with his responsibilities aboard S.H.I.E.L.D.’s helicarrier. “No, I’m fine,” he said simply. “I did what was necessary – there are other priorities that need to be taken care of. Joss wrote a great story. And you see just enough of Nick Fury to understand that if things get out of hand in his particular area, he can handle it.”

Additionally, Jackson observed that he’s always served as a sort of support system for his spandex-clad co-stars in the Marvel movies, and he enjoys that role. “It’s kind of been that way since I started out in the franchise,” he said. “I show up and I say some things, I lead you to another place, I lead you to the next place. If that was the job, that was the job, and I understood that.”

Meanwhile, the prolific actor said that he chooses his projects according to a variety of reasons, not the least of which being whether or not he’d find the end result entertaining as a moviegoer. “Some of it’s popcorn driven,” Jackson said. “I look at a movie and I go, ‘oh, I want to see that’. And then I find kind of offbeat stories that have a good, dramatic digging character that gives me the opportunity to explore some sort of interesting things about myself and hopefully give the audiences a look into a world that they can comfortably go into and come out and not really need a shower. So it’s a healthy balance of that.”

Watch the video above for more insights from Jackson about Nick Fury, The Avengers and his career as a whole. The Avengers opens nationwide on Friday, May 4, 2012.