Incredibles 2 follows the Parr family as they enter a new phase in their lives. Helen Parr aka Elastigirl (Holly Hunter) takes up a new superhero job, leaving her husband Bob Parr (Craig T. Nelson) to hold down the fort in their new home. But he soon discovers that fatherhood isn’t as easy as it looks. Dash (Huck Milner) has trouble with his math homework. Violet (Sarah Vowell) has a crush on a boy, who had his memory wiped. And Jack-Jack has developed new powers. All of this is happening as Elastagirl is investigating a new villain who is bent on controlling the world through media screens.
So as Mr. Incredible is trying to live up to his name as a father, he will get some big help from his friend Frozone. Samuel L. Jackson returns to reprise the cool and icy hero. If his role in this and the Marvel Cinematic Universe tell us anything, it’s that he plays characters that are the glue that binds his superhero families together. Whether it’s the father-figure in The Avengers or the surrogate uncle Frozone in Incredibles 2, you can always rely on his character to be there.
We were invited to sit down with our fellow journalists to talk to Jackson, the cast, and director Brad Bird about their experience on the sequel. Check out what Jackson had to say about his parental-like roles in Incredibles 2 and The Avengers, and if kids recognize if he’s Frozone, below.
There’s no doubt that Nick Fury is the father-like figure of the MCU. He was the first to bring a group of remarkable people together. And with the increasing amount of heroes, he always seems to have his hands full. Of course, that all changed after Infinity War. And it is something that he seems to be bitter about.
“As I recall, that family kind of fell out at the end of Avengers: Infinity War and nobody called me to make them be good, I noticed that also. Why Am I not there quelling this fight? I did bring all these people into S.H.I.E.L.D. and then all of a sudden I’m not there,” Jackson said. “So I don’t know what you are talking about. So I can’t relate.”
The actor then talked about the evolution of the genre and what some studios are doing to keep it alive and fresh. “Obviously, the genre has grown and it has grown inside this one place. Sure there are some other companies that make movies like this. A couple of them are good,” Jackson said. “There is a real interesting playbook that I look at when I watch all the movies and it is like they have this secret sauce that sometimes I wonder when I am there and I am looking at the director and I go ‘So these guys have a TV show, why are they doing this? This person is doing serious dramas, why is he doing this?’ There is something they know that they find to make it work.”
Family is complicated, and there is no doubt there are some sibling rivalries and situations that put relationships to the test. However, they can come together knowing that they are one family and they love each other. At least, that’s how Jackson sees it. “The relationships among the people inside those families always become too intimate and intricate,” Jackson said. “Sometimes the people that are related, like Loki and Thor, they don’t like each other. There’s family discord. The people that don’t know each other that are looking for that connection become tied together in an interesting sort of way. You got your bad brother in Iron Man. You got your lug in Hulk. And you got your sister who turns out to be a real killer with a heart of gold. So all these things come together and they find a common goal or they are working towards the common good, and they are brought together in a unique and very interesting way.”
“But they don’t let me work in all those movies for a reason, because I really don’t know what’s going on,” he continued. “But I pretend I do. Kind of like this one. I don’t really know what’s going on but I know they need me and I make the icy stuff and I can make things happen.”
While many would recognize Jackson for his role as Nick Fury, that wasn’t the first time he played a superhero. Yes, he played Lucious aka Frozone, an ice-powered superhero who has had trouble finding his super suit in The Incredibles. There is something about his voice that is recognizable to adults. Just don’t expect to get the same reaction from the younger kids.
“Kids don’t do that,” Jackson said. “Their parents do. And then they try to get them to know who you are. ‘That’s Frozone, honey.’ And they are looking at you like ‘You don’t have a blue suit on. You are not making ice stuff, so… nah’ Then I go ‘Where’s my super suit, honey.’ ‘Oh!’ They have to give them a catchphrase, but they don’t know who we are. Now as they got older, like the kids are now when they were four when they first saw the movie, are now 18. They’ve been waiting. They’ve been knocking little kids over to get in line. My daughter is 35, she’s been knocking big kids over to get in line. But no we don’t get a new audience because we did a movie that kids really like. They have no idea who we really are in our real selves.”
Incredibles 2 opens in theaters on June 15, 2018.