On The Late Show Monday, Samuel L. Jackson and host Stephen Colbert were chatting about the ’fro’s they used to rock back in the day, which lead to Jackson talking about how his trademark Jheri curl in Pulp Fiction was actually a happy accident.
“Well, Quentin [Tarantino] is this huge fan of blaxploitation films,” explained Jackson. “So in his mind, Jules had this big Afro. And, unfortunately for him, he sent this young, white PA over to South Central to buy an Afro wig. And she bought a Jheri curl wig thinking it was an Afro wig.”
“She brought it back, you know,” Jackson continued. “Quentin kind of railed at her, went off, and I’m like, ‘No, no, no, it’s perfect,’ because NWA is starting to hit, you know, they were large, and all those guys had Jheri curls.”
The hip-hop group NWA helped popularize the hairstyle, but did you know it was invented in the 1980s by a hairdresser and businessman named Jheri Redding? Look him up, you might be surprised to see what he looks like.