Samuel L Jackson has embraced LL Cool J, despite his past comments that there's no place for rap stars in the movies.

The pair have teamed up in two movies - DEEP BLUE SEA and new film S.W.A.T. - and Jackson confesses the rapper, real name TODD JAMES SMITH, is among the few who have learned the craft of acting.

Jackson upset the rap world when he urged hip-hop stars to stick to what they do best, and stop taking jobs from trained actors.

He explains, "It was a statement I made about a particular group of artists that have nothing to do with Todd or QUEEN LATIFAH - artists who pay their dues working on TV and find away to work in this business.

"They take guys off the streets and off the charts and put them in movies and give them roles that all these young actors who are going to JULLIARD - kids that are spending their money learning the craft of acting - don't have an opportunity to act anymore."

LL Cool J admits he understands Jackson's comments, and he appreciates it every time he gets the chance to work with him.

He says, "He has embraced me and given me an opportunity to try and do good work and get better and grow as an actor.

"He has agreed to work with me in films when, quite frankly, he has a lot of power and he doesn't have to."

08/08/2003 19:03