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‘I’m Fighting the Fear of Getting Caught Up In Alzheimer’s Like My Parents’: Samuel Jackson Shares Why His New Series Hits Home and He Still Works So Hard 

Actor Samuel Jackson says his family has a history of dementia and believes that working is a way that he can “fight the fear” of the age-specific illness. While promoting his new TV series, “The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey,” a production about a 93-year-old man suffering from dementia that gets a gift of memory, the Morehouse graduate shared that he related to the plot because he has personally been impacted by the brain disorder.

In promotion of its release, he wanted fans to keep in mind, “Memory is more powerful than one may think.”

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – MARCH 10: Samuel L. Jackson poses during Samuel L. Jackson In Conversation With Josh Horowitz at 92Y on March 10, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images)

According to an interview in iNews UK, Jackson and his wife, LaTanya Richardson, are both serving as producers on this project. He noted that when he read Walter Mosely’s novel almost a decade ago, he was able to relate to it because his mother and grandfather had suffered from Alzheimer’s disease.

He spoke candidly about watching them struggle in their older age.

“As they passed on, I just became more determined to tell this story and get it out there,” he said. “And make sure people understand that the people they loved are still there, inside that person, so you can’t throw them away. You have to care for them and love them as if they’re still contributing to your life.”

While the Alzheimer’s Association notes the disorder is not necessarily hereditary and family history does not have to play a part in one developing it, Jackson says that he does have concerns and hopes that by continuing to work on projects, he keeps his mind sharp.

He said, “I don’t know if I’m as facile as I used to be in terms of learning that much dialogue. Knowing that I can get up every day, regurgitate dialogue and do all this stuff helps me fight off the fear of genetically being caught up in everything my parents and grandparents were.”

Jackson relates to the story, but that’s different than becoming a character 20 years his senior. Often connected to action heroes, one might wonder how he as an actor might relate to the character that he is playing.

“I’m getting older every day,” he says. “I’m kind of old. I know a lot about getting old! I have been around for a while.”

“The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey” premiered on Apple TV on Friday, March 11.

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