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Posted 2/12/2003 10:33 PM
Zeta-Jones has baby in Oscar plans

She may be dressing for two. But a very pregnant Catherine Zeta-Jones, up for best supporting actress for the musical Chicago, plans to attend the Oscars ceremony March 23.

"I have to figure out what the hell to put on my body now. It will be showtime for me in every stretch of the word. No water breaking in public, please."

She wouldn't be the first nine-months-along nominee to attend the Oscars. Annette Bening was the picture of natal chic when she was in the best-actress race for 1999's American Beauty. She lost to Hilary Swank (Boys Don't Cry) but gave birth to her and Warren Beatty's fourth child, daughter Ella Corinne, 13 days later.

If Zeta-Jones, 33, gets her way, she could be the first performer of a best-song candidate who could go into labor at any minute. She is expecting her second child with Michael Douglas (son Dylan is 2).

She and co-star Renee Zellweger are heard during the end credits duetting on I Move On, the lone John Kander and Fred Ebb tune written specifically for the movie.

It's only the second time that the songwriting team behind such cinematic standards as New York, New York has been nominated. Kander and Ebb's How Lucky Can You Get from 1975's Funny Lady lost to I'm Easy from Nashville.

"I'm so thrilled Kander and Ebb got recognized," Zeta-Jones says.

As for singing during the Oscars, "I told Harvey (Miramax chief Weinstein) I would give it a go. As long as they put my face in the light. It's going to be quite a night. I have no idea what's going to happen. But if I'm physically up to it, I'll do it."

While the studio behind the nominated songs can suggest performers, the final decision belongs to the team in charge of the telecast, headed by producer Gil Cates. The lineup usually isn't made public until closer to the show.

It could be an interesting year for musical numbers. Also in the running are Paul Simon (Father and Daughter from The Wild Thornberrys), U2 (The Hands that Built America from Gangs of New York), Eminem (Lose Yourself from 8 Mile) and Elliot Goldenthal (BurnIt Blue from Frida).

Zellweger, who is up for best actress, could join her co-star on stage. But her voice was in no shape to warble on Tuesday after the nominations came out: "I better stop screaming at the television."