If you thought Lesia Anna was excited to see Hollywood icon Samuel L. Jackson walk into her art studio at The Forks on Wednesday, you’d be right.
The star of Pulp Fiction, Shaft and the Star Wars prequels came by to look at a charcoal portrait of him drawn by local artist, Perry Holmes.
"He was very nice. Absolutely wonderful," she said.
It was far from an accident, however. After she heard Jackson would be in town shooting a movie, she suggested to Holmes that he draw a picture of him.
"You never know. It’s happened before. A movie star sees a portrait (of themselves) and they compliment the artist," she said.
A crewmember for Reasonable Doubt, the indie legal drama starring Jackson, told him about the portrait, and then tipped Anna off that he’d drop by to check it out.
"(Jackson) walked in and I asked him if it was okay if I took a picture of him and the portrait and he obliged. Perry gifted it to him and he graciously accepted it," she said.
Holmes said he walked up to Jackson as he was looking at the charcoal portrait and told him it was a gift on behalf of The Forks and Winnipeg.
"But then you won’t be able to sell it," Jackson told him.
Replied Holmes: "Who cares? If you have it, it’s an honour. I can make another one."
Jackson looked at it again and said, "this is great" before giving Holmes a slap on the back.
"It was neat. He’s six-foot-two. He was Mace Windu in Star Wars. It was great moment," he said.
Anna admits to being a fan of Jackson’s movies, particularly Pulp Fiction.
"I thought he was the coolest in that one," she said, noting Snakes On A Plane is another favourite.
Anna plans on adding Jackson’s picture to her collection of celebrity shots. Over the years, she has snapped pictures of the likes of Olivia Newton-John and Steven Tyler after selling pieces to them.
Anna said Jackson sent his assistant over to pick up the portrait and that he wanted to do "something special" for Holmes in exchange for his generosity.