Although Samuel L. Jackson’s crush on Helen Mirren might seem like a surprising confession to some, his attraction to her makes sense, given that the two actors have a similar story of how they fell in love with acting.

Mirren began her career performing with the Royal Shakespeare Company, according to Biography. She joined the company after playing a part in an amateur production of “Hamlet,” and later took on lead roles in plays such as “Macbeth” and “Antony and Cleopatra” as she honed her acting skills. Jackson likewise learned of his passion for entertainment by performing on stage. While he underwent theater training, Jackson learned how to inspire an audience, which is a lesson he has kept with him throughout his legendary Hollywood career.

“That’s what I was taught when I was doing theater, that, when you come on stage, you want to light it up to the point that, when you leave, people want to go with you,”  he said in a “60 Minutes” interview. “And I hope that’s who I am when I show up.”

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