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Which GTA San Andreas character did Samuel L. Jackson play?

Samuel L. Jackson had a major role in GTA: San Andreas (Images via Rockstar Games)
Samuel L. Jackson had a major role in GTA: San Andreas (Images via Rockstar Games)
Arunabha Shome

The GTA series' popularity and reach have seen unprecedented growth over the years, and it is not all that surprising that people from outside the gaming community have at least heard about the GTA games.

The success of the franchise has resulted in many cameos and even full-fledged roles being taken up by famous celebrities. Notable actors like Roy Liotta and Ricky Gervais have made their appearances in Vice City and GTA 4, respectively.

However, out of all of these celebrity appearances, the most prominent and popular was Samuel L. Jackson's. He graced the Grand Theft Auto franchise with his appearance in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. And while many fans know that the famous actor was involved with the game to a certain degree, others have wondered about the role and character Samuel L. Jackson played in San Andreas.


Samuel L. Jackson voiced GTA: San Andreas' main villain

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Jackson provided the voice for Frank Tenpenny, a central character and the main antagonist in GTA: San Andreas.

He is a corrupt senior police officer working for the LSPD and as the leader of the C.R.A.S.H. (Community Resources Against Street Hoodlums) unit. He is the superior of his right-hand man Eddie Pulaski, who serves as the game's secondary main antagonist.

Over the course of the game, Tenpenny wants anyone who knows how corrupt he is to be killed and resorts to whatever means necessary to maintain that secret.


When does the player meet Frank Tenpenny?

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The first time Tenpenny is seen, he's confronting Carl Johnson. Carl has just returned home to Ganton, Los Santos, after spending five years in Liberty City and is immediately accused of bringing drug money with him.

Tenpenny and his associates later take him to Ballas territory and abandon him there. They also threaten to blame him for the murder of Officer Ralph Pendelbury, a comrade.

Tenpenny and his henchmen present themselves on various occasions after that. For instance, they inform CJ and Ryder that a train carrying guns will be arriving. While leaving Big Smoke's house, Tenpenny appears again to confront CJ and orders him to kill a foreigner in a warehouse.

He and Pulaski also help Ballas manage the Los Santos cocaine trade. Needless to say, the sight of Tenpenny was a very common one in the game.


How did Samuel L. Jackson get this role?

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Not much is known about how Samuel L. Jackson got this role, as there have not been a lot of interviews where he talks about getting the chance to play the part of the antagonist. This could be because San Andreas was released during a time when video games weren't as culturally impactful as they are today.

Even though it's hard to tell how he got the role, what's clear as day is that Samuel L. Jackson accepted the Best Performance by a Human Male award for his role as Officer Tenpenny at the 2004 Spike TV Video Game Awards in person.


Edited by Soumyadyuti Ghosh

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