I can sympathize with Gwyneth Paltrow’s failure to recognize Sebastian Stan, as I also could not pick him out of a lineup, despite the fact that IMDB tells me I have seen many of his movies. But it takes a special kind of cashmere Karen, “Oh have we met?” energy to forget making several films with major movie star Samuel L. Jackson, especially after being photographed on stage literally alongside him to promote said movies.
In a recent interview with Empire, president of Marvel Studios Kevin Fiege explained that a pivotal scene in Avengers: Endgame was shot before Black Panther, Infinity War, Ant-Man And The Wasp, and Captain Marvel had come out, leading many of the actors to wonder aloud what some celebs were even doing there. For example, “Tom Holland [was] coming up to me, saying, ‘Is that Michelle Pfeiffer? What is happening?’”
The confusion led Paltrow to ask what Samuel L. Jackson might be doing on set, leaving it up to the other cast members to remind her that Jackson plays Nick Fury, and she had already appeared with him in several Marvel movies:
“Gwyneth Paltrow [was] asking why Sam Jackson was there, and the other actors [were] jumping in saying, ‘What are you talking about? He’s Nick Fury! You’ve been in movies with him.’”
Though Jackson is the most famous celebrity Paltrow cannot remember working with, he’s not the only one. Her co-stars are tasked with the job of explaining who other co-stars are seemingly pretty often. For example, she was actually caught on film asking Chris Pratt “Who’s that?” in reference to Sebastian Stan at the Infinity War premiere. Which is fine. Sebastian Stan just looks like some dude, and as my colleague, Rebecca Fishbein has rightfully pointed out, he refuses to wear a name tag to help people remember who he is.
But even given Paltrow’s special talent for being clueless, she usually seems to cherish her relationships with fellow A-listers, so it is strange she blocked out working with Jackson. It is now my greatest wish that Samuel L. Jackson actually has no clue who Gwyneth Paltrow is anyway and thought she was Michelle Pfeiffer’s stunt double the whole time they were filming the scene.