August 23, 2004 12:00 PM

Type Casting

As a dragon fish in the upcoming animated movie Shark Tale, Angelina Jolie voices an underwater femme fatale who uses her wiles to get what she wants. “To see yourself as an animated character is just great,” says Jolie, 29, who joins Will Smith, Robert De Niro and Renée Zellweger in the underwater adventure. “I walked into this room when they first asked me to do it, and you kind of look around [at the storyboards] before they say, ‘This is who you’re playing.’ I saw one fish that kind of looked like Renée. I saw a fish that’s clearly Will, and then there’s a fish with this big red mouth and very pointy eyebrows. I said, ‘Am I that one?’ I’m the bad fish.”

Kid Rock

E Street Band guitarist (and Sopranos star) Steven Van Zandt is doing his best to bring back some of that old time rock and roll. “Ever since mainstream became exclusively hard rock, hip-hop and pop, it’s become new,” says Van Zandt, 53, who hosts a syndicated “garage rock” radio show. “We get a very, very big cross section of fans, from 11-year-olds up. I get e-mails from kids saying, ‘Thanks for turning me on to the Kinks. Thanks for telling me about the Animals. Where have they come from?’ It’s like they’re on another planet,” says the rocker, whose Aug. 14 Underground Garage Festival in New York City will feature more than 25 bands. “This is a complete rebellion for them.”

Conspiracy Theory

“Mind control is not science fiction,” says Denzel Washington, 49, who plays a Gulf War vet trying to expose the brainwashing of a potential U.S. Vice President in The Manchurian Candidate. “It’s your television set. It’s information [in general]. Times Square is mind control. I ate a chocolate bar because I saw a sign in Times Square.” What’s the best conspiracy theory he’s ever heard? “Someone actually told me that wasn’t really O.J. Simpson on trial—that they made another,” says Washington. “He said you could tell because [Simpson’s] mother really wasn’t upset [in the courtroom]. I don’t know what it means. But that’s pretty good, right?”

Fear of Flying Things

Though she defined toughness in the Alien franchise, Sigourney Weaver wouldn’t be up to the challenges of competing on anything like Fear Factor. “Eating cockroaches and stuff wouldn’t be my favorite thing,” says Weaver, 54, who costars in the thriller The Village. “I was trying to kill a flying creature in my bedroom last night. It seemed to sprout more and more legs and arms. It was like a flying daddy longlegs. I didn’t know what it was, but I’m glad I didn’t have to eat it.”