LaTanya Richardson Says It's 'Easier' to Give Samuel L. Jackson Directing Notes Over Dinner

LaTanya Richardson Jackson says that at dinner with husband Samuel L. Jackson, the two discuss their day’s work on the Broadway revival of The Piano Lesson

LaTanya Richardson Jackson and Samuel L. Jackson at THE 75TH ANNUAL TONY AWARDS, live from Radio City Music Hall in New York City
Photo: David M. Russell/CBS via Getty

LaTanya Richardson Jackson is both wife and colleague to Samuel L. Jackson as the two prepare to open the Broadway revival of The Piano Lesson.

The actress and director, 72, is at the helm of the August Wilson play, which stars her husband, 73, alongside actor and former football pro John David Washington (who is also the son of Denzel Washington) and The Color Purple star Danielle Brooks.

While promoting the show Wednesday ahead of its Sept. 19 Broadway bow, LaTanya discussed working so closely with the Pulp Fiction Oscar nominee and how she'll even give him some notes on his performance over dinner.

"Let me just say: Do know that when I leave the theater — as late as it is, after they leave — I go home and cook, and then I do the dishes, just so we're all on that page," she told PEOPLE during a press conference with the cast.

Samuel L. Jackson on First Day of Rehearsal for Play Directed by Wife LaTanya Richardson
Samuel L. Jackson, Danielle Brooks and John David Washington. Rowena Husbands

"Then, over dinner, of course we discuss what has transpired during the day because I find that sometimes it's easier to offer suggestions at that time — of what could be, you know, lifted. And maybe we want to look at this a different way. That's an easier time to do it because that's the time that we usually spend together."

"But what do you think?" she then asked Samuel, who simply nodded his head in agreement. Added LaTanya: "Good answer."

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The Tony Award-nominated actress said that directing Wilson's The Piano Lesson has always been a "life dream," and because she and Samuel have been married for over 42 years, they can work very well together when in the rehearsal room.

"Because I've been with him for 53 years, it becomes a sort of coded situation to talk to him," she said, adding that Samuel is a "different story" than the rest of the cast members and is "very determined about what he knows."

"I must agree, he knows a lot — not more than me," she joked. "So I'm just trying to let him be, but allow me to sort of usher him, in a certain way, along. And he's been very good about that — vocal, but at least he'll do it."

Yet again, her husband simply agreed, saying: "Sort of what she said."

RELATED VIDEO: See Samuel L. Jackson on First Day of Rehearsal for Play Directed by Wife LaTanya Richardson

The play, which will officially open Oct. 13 at Broadway's Ethel Barrymore Theatre, will serve as a full-circle moment for Samuel, who originated the role of Boy Willie (now played by Washington) when the show premiered in 1987 at the Yale Repertory Theatre. He served as an understudy when the play went to Broadway.

"I had the opportunity to create Boy Willie at Yale and became very attached to it, probably a little too much," he said. "So by the time the play traveled and came back to Broadway, and I was an understudy, I was pretty much devastated that I wasn't going to make my Broadway debut, drowning myself in a drug-fueled kind of craziness and ended up in rehab, which, you know, started a whole other journey for me."

"So it's kind of interesting to come back in this way and to be Doaker and to listen to John David create Boy Willie," he added. "I'm looking forward to audiences being there."

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