Samuel Jackson is ''Shaft'''s secret weapon |


Samuel Jackson is ''Shaft'''s secret weapon

Plus, the latest quotes from Nicolas Cage, Vanessa L. Williams, Robert Duvall, and more

Samuel L. Jackson

'SHAFT' ON THE BRAIN Jackson makes looking cool look easy (Corbis Sygma)

Believe it or not, this summer, celebrities have more on their minds than personal trainers, blond highlights, and fake bake tanning. To prove it, here’s EW Online’s latest roundup of celebrity spoutings.

? ”This film lives or dies by Samuel L. Jackson. He’s the only guy who gets people to go to the movies just to see him talk smack. So he was perfect, because this is a smack talking movie.” ”Shaft” director JOHN SINGLETON on his leading man’s groove factor

? ”If I had not been able to sing or dance or act, what happened with Miss America would have been devastating. But after it was over, I figured I could get on with what I really wanted to do. I always knew I had lots of other things to achieve.” ”Shaft” star VANESSA L. WILLIAMS on finding the silver lining behind the loss of her 1984 Miss America crown

? ”I’ve always been obsessed with cars. When I was 4 years old, I would plant my Hot Wheels collection in the hopes they would grow into big cars.” ”Gone in 60 Seconds” star NICOLAS CAGE on his own hot rod fever

? ”We were always mooning each other. [Al] Pacino would try to moon me from behind a tombstone over in the cemetery, or up on the lighting catwalk. We were always doing it, even with women and children around. [Marlon] Brando actually gave us all championship belts for our mooning. Then one day one woman approached me and said, ‘Mr. Duvall, you were great,’ then turned to her friend and said, ‘But did you catch the balls on Brando?”’ ”Gone in 60 Seconds” costar ROBERT DUVALL on the off camera high jinks on the set of his 1974 film ”The Godfather”

? ”If I were a gladiator, in my first fight I would probably sh– and pee in my pants. It’s not a good place to be.” ”Gladiator” star DJIMON HOUNSOU

? ”I’m a gay man. So I have a soft spot for gladiators. Go figure.” ”American Beauty” screenwriter ALAN BALL on why he attended the premiere of ”Gladiator”

? ”There were no Jewish dinosaurs.” CNN talk maven LARRY KING on why he doesn’t make a cameo in Disney’s ”Dinosaur”

? ”Americans seem to be more comfortable with a gun in their hands than their genitals, and that’s something that really just blows my mind. I’d certainly rather have a blow job than a bullet in the head. And you can quote me on that!” EMILIO ESTEVEZ, who plays a porn peddler in Showtime’s ”Rated X”