Samuel L. Jackson, who has spent decades entertaining audiences on the silver screen, was recognized for his talents at last week’s CinemaCon in Las Vegas.

On April 26, the prolific actor received the 2018 Cinema Icon Award for his contribution to films for the past 30 years. The award was presented at the national convention of the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO,) which organized the three-day event.

“With more than 100 films to his credit and over three decades of bringing some of the most memorable characters to the big screen, Samuel L. Jackson has made an undeniable mark on global movie-going audiences,” Mitch Neuhauser, managing director of CinemaCon, said last month. “With characters ranging from Jules Winnfield in Pulp Fiction and Carl Lee Hailey in A Time to Kill to Nick Fury in the Iron Man, Avengers and Captain America films, Jackson has given us every reason to go to the movies.”

The honoree said growing up in Tennessee he would attend segregated movie theaters, and he’s happy that movies today are getting people excited to visit the theater, citing one of Marvel’s latest hits.

“I loved watching Black Panther because that’s the kind of movie I would have gone to see as a kid,” he said. “I love my job and I choose movies … I want to see myself in, because let’s face it, I like watching myself on film,” he said to laughter.

Jackson said the award means a lot to him because people recognize how hard he works, he wants to create films that children can remember and he hopes he can inspire young actors.

“Always find something that makes you happy,” he advised. “You don’t necessarily have to go out there to be the best actor in the world. Go out there and be the happiest actor in the world, and that’s what I am.”