A very weird story broke the other day, which was weird for multiple reasons.
The Wrap reported on May 13 that “Jonah Hill Passes Samuel L. Jackson With Most F-ing Swear Words on Film,” and that it was Hill’s performance in Wolf of Wall Street that put him over the top, even though that film came out nearly seven years ago.
The Buzz Bingo study itself is based on “our study of over 3,500 movie scripts.” It lists Wolf of Wall Street as the movie with the most curses with 715, followed by Uncut Gems (646), Casino (606), and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (509.)
But then comes the controversial part. Buzz Bingo declares that “Jonah Hill has collectively committed the most swear words in the movies that he has starred in,” with 376, followed by his Wolf of Wall Street co-star Leonardo DiCaprio with 361, and Samuel L. Jackson with 301.
How can that possibly be true? Most observers would likely have assumed that Jackson was the all-time cursing champion, in addition to his status as the all-time box office champion. He’s been acting since 1972 and has appeared in more than 150 movies.
Jackson hasn’t cursed in all of those films – I don’t remember Jedi Master Mace Windu dropping any f-bombs in the Star Wars prequels – but he certainly did in many of them, especially his multiple collaborations with Quentin Tarantino. If Jackson has only cursed 301 times on screen, that’s an average of two curses per movie, which is very clearly off by a factor of hundreds.
Hill, on the other hand, started his movie career in 2004, and has appeared in just under 50 movies. Yes, he swore a lot in Wolf of Wall Street, but nowhere near the clip Samuel L. Jackson has been cursing at for decades.
This supercut, which is more than three years old, features Jackson uttering the word “motherfucker” 171 times across 29 movies. And mind you, that’s only “motherfucker,” not all curse words altogether, and that’s also only a small fraction of his filmography.
Jonah Hill also, to my knowledge, has never said “motherfucker” twice in the same sentence, as SLJ did in Pulp Fiction:
The study itself refers to “the movies that he has starred in,” which leaves some wiggle room. But even then, it seems highly unlikely that Hill’s swearing in Wolf of Wall Street overtakes the total of what Jackson has uttered across Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown, Hateful Eight, and last year’s Shaft sequel alone.
“(Also ‘new report’? Lol what team of scientists cracked this one?).”
About those “scientists…”
The Wrap piece described Buzz Bingo as a “research firm,” but it is not, nor is it a scientific polling outfit. Buzz Bingo, it turns out, is an online bingo website. One that apparently decided to draw attention to themselves by doing something outside of their core competency – a survey of which movie actors have cursed on screen the most. Give them credit though, accurate or not, it appears to have worked.
CULTURE (counter, pop, and otherwise) and the people who shape it.