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Samuel L. Jackson is a 'selfish individual'

Samuel L. Jackson is a 'selfish individual'

Samuel L. Jackson has become a "selfish individual".

The 67-year-old actor - who previously battled with an alcohol and drug addiction - has admitted he learned he had to "save yourself first" so he could help other people, and has revealed he has realised what seemed to be a punishment at the time was an act of truth and tough love from his family trying to help him.

Speaking to PEOPLE, The 'Django Unchained' star said: "You look into people's eyes at a certain point, and you realize that they're not punishing you, they're actually telling you the truth. That you are at a point now that you can go this way [or] you can go that way.

"You have to look in the mirror and say to yourself, 'Okay, I really need to do this for myself.' And you become a very selfish individual."

"They're very important in that process.

"But the most important thing to do is to save yourself first so that you can be of service to those people that you love, and they made me understand that. It was great."

Samuel's comments follow his acceptance speech when he picked up the prize at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on Sunday (26.06.16), which saw him pay tribute to his wife LaTanya Richardson, 66, and their 34-year-old daughter Zoe for saving his life.

Speaking at the BET Awards, he said: "The other two people that challenged me on a regular basis are my foundation and support, my daughter Zoe and my wife LaTanya.

"The two women that actually found me passed out on the floor after I left somebody's bachelor party and put me in rehab the next day. And supported me and pushed me and give me a reason to get up and go and chase it day after day after day."

And the Hollywood icon has revealed his substance abuse, led him to check in to a rehabilitation centre in the '90s.

Speaking previously to the New York Times newspaper, the 'Kingsman: The Secret Service' star said: "I was a great alcoholic and drug addict like actors of old.

"I did the 12 steps, yada, yada, yada ... I was tired of the way I felt on drugs."