“Shaft,” the shafter and the shaftee

Samuel L. Jackson: "Any questions?"; George Clooney nominated for best performance in a cat box. Plus: Was Eminem's bust just a rehearsal?

Topics: Celebrity, George Clooney, Britney Spears,

Will the real private dick please stand up?

Just when you thought the nasty dispute between “Shaft” star Samuel L. Jackson and the film’s director, John Singleton, had been put to rest for good, the two met with a group of reporters last week to clear up a few things.

Jackson claims he has no personal beef with Singleton — it’s just that he’s, you know, more experienced. “John is like many young directors I’ve worked with recently. They’ve done five or eight films,” he said. “I’ve made close to 70. I know better than they do what works for Sam Jackson.”

The actor says he’s wary of directors who, like Singleton, try to “con him” into doing the scene their way. “I refuse,” he said. “I’m the one who’s up there on the screen, so I’ll only do it my way because I’m the one who ends up taking the blame for their silly choices.”

However, he insisted, “I’m always the good guy because I’m diplomatic about my refusal to do things. I call in my agent and lawyers and let them be the bad guys.”

Singleton, for his part, defended himself against rumors that he’d slept his way through the extras. “I’m single, so it really wouldn’t have been anyone’s business if I had slept with all of them,” said the director, “but I simply wouldn’t have had the energy because of everything else that was going on with ‘Shaft.’”

Anyone else voting for no sequel?

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Schwing blade

“I still think about him and I can’t breathe … I can’t explain it. There is something absolutely magic about that man.” — Angelina Jolie, dispassionately discussing her love for Billy Bob Thornton on “Access Hollywood.”

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Cat crap fever

He may be pulling in $12 million a picture and deified by women worldwide, but George Clooney is apparently not above digging around in cat shit for the sake of a good joke.



Actor Richard Kind (who plays Paul on “Spin City” and is a member of Clooney’s inner circle) and his pet feline learned that lesson the hard way.

“Richard had this cat that he loved and adored,” Ben Weiss, a “Friends” assistant director and another Clooney crony, recalls in the upcoming issue of Men’s Journal. “So George would go in the bathroom, and that’s where the litter box was. And there would be cat shit in there, so George would clean it up and flush it down the toilet. Then Richard would go in there and say, ‘God, it’s so weird. My cat hasn’t taken a shit in forever.’”

This went on for days: the cat crapping, Clooney merrily scooping and flushing. And eventually, Kind grew understandably concerned.

“Richard went to the vet to get some kind of thing to make the cat go to the bathroom,” says Weiss. “The poor cat. The cat’s shitting, and George is still cleaning it up.”

Clearly, the madness had to end. So the erstwhile “ER” star capped it off with a bang (or, more accurately, a thud).

“Finally, George stood over the cat box and took a giant shit,” Weiss tells the magazine. “And finally Richard goes in there and says, ‘Oh, my God! Kitty!’”

Smelling salts, stat.

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Actor a la mode

“I never order pie.”

Jason Biggs, who played hide-the-salami with an apple pie in last summer’s “American Pie,” on dessert, in the Toronto Sun.

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Juicy bits

Chalk one up for Christina Aguilera — she’ll likely spare us the “saving it for marriage” chatter favored by her pop rival Britney Spears. Turns out that what a girl wants is to move in with her boyfriend, or at least to the same city. Dotmusic.com reports that Aguilera and her boyfriend, dancer Jorge Santos, are moving to Los Angeles to be near each other — and she’s starting the search for a house. Oh my gosh, you guys, it’s, like, so exciting!

Could Eminem’s recent nightclub scuffle have been a plot device? The Grammy-winning rapper is set to make his film debut in a feature loosely based on his life story, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Writer Scott Silver, whose credits include “The Mod Squad,” is hard at work on the script, about a young rapper growing up in Detroit and struggling to find his voice.

No sex, please … The BBC reports that Thomas Steinbeck, novelist John Steinbeck’s son, is considering taking legal action to block the distribution of the film adaptation of “The Pearl,” which stars Richard Harris and Lukas Haas. He says the addition of sex scenes and sharks violate the producers’ promise to stay true to the book. Sour grapes of wrath?

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