Samuel L. Jackson on Playing 'Really Interesting' Historical Figure in 'The Legend of Tarzan'

"He’s a bit of a rogue," Jackson said about the inspiration for his role.

— -- Samuel L. Jackson stars in “The Legend of Tarzan” as a soldier turned humanitarian who joins Tarzan, played by Alexander Skarsgård, on a return trip to Africa. Jackson’s character is loosely based on the real-life George Washington Williams, whom he called a “really interesting man” of historical significance.

“He fought in the Civil War. He lied about his age so he could get in the army and fought in the Civil War,” Jackson, 67, explained on “Good Morning America” today.

The actor hopes people will see this film and because of his character’s historical context, “They’ll go out and find more out about who George Washington Williams was and find out what King Leopold actually did in the Congo, which still has a resounding effect today.”

In addition to upcoming premiere of his highly-anticipated new film, Jackson has certainly been keeping busy. He was recently awarded the BET Lifetime Achievement Award, which he admitted he was a bit nervous about.

“I was a little shaky up there. You don’t normally get awards like that,” Jackson said. “To realize I’ve had some kind of impact in this business and on a lot of people’s lives, it’s really wonderful to walk around the world and people say, ‘I really love your work.’ Not just say, ‘I like you,’ but ‘I love your work.’ That means that I’ve done my job and entertained a lot of people.”

"The Legend of Tarzan" opens nationwide Friday.