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Zeta in religion muddle

Sep 13 2003

Robin Turner, The Western Mail


HOLLYWOOD actress Catherine Zeta Jones explained yesterday why she had ditched plans for a star-studded double christening in Swansea for her children Carys and Dylan.

She told her close friend Anna Walker that the complex religious make-up of her extended family meant she was taking time to prepare the long-awaited ceremony.

It had been thought the Hollywood star would be christening Carys, born earlier this year, and three-year-old Dylan at a church in Swansea.

Clyne Chapel, overlooking Swansea Bay and just a stone's throw from the home of her parents Pat and Dai in Mayals, was the favourite to host the ceremony.

And the star was said to have booked the entire five-star Morgan's Hotel in Swansea's Maritime Quarter for the occasion with big-name guests, including Danny DeVito, who is a close friend of Michael Douglas and Goldie Hawn and producer Steven Spielberg.

It was also thought others at the christening would include Swansea-based singer Bonnie Tyler and singer Tom Jones.

But in a televised interview with long-term friend Anna Walker yesterday she said coming up with a style of christening which would make everyone happy was proving difficult.

"Some of my family members are really annoyed they have not had the invitations," she said.

"People said all the stars were coming to Swansea.

"But I'm going to leave the christening out for a while with no plans for it yet.

"My father-in-law (Kirk Douglas) is Jewish...in fact we have a whole bunch of religions in my family.

"I haven't quite figured it out yet. No, I'm sure it will happen one day but not at the moment I'm afraid."

The Oscar-winning actress's family on her mother's side are Catholics and adding to the complications is the fact that Kirk Douglas is recovering from a stroke.

Her grandmother Zeta Jones, who lives in the north of Swansea, also finds it difficult to travel long distances.

It is thought the christening will now be held next year and that the venue will be a closely guarded secret.

Morgan's Hotel in Swansea has been named the AA Hotel of the Year in Wales and is listed in the AA's UK Top 200 list of best places to stay.

Catherine Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas have chosen the hotel, a listed building which was once a docks administration centre, to stay at on their previous two visits to Swansea.

The glamorous actress was speaking about the christening on ITV's This Morning after a visit to the Venice Film Festival.

There, she has been promoting her new movie, Intolerable Cruelty. Critics gave the film, co-starring George Clooney and directed by the acclaimed Coen brothers, a warm reception at a preview screening in Italy.

In Intolerable Cruelty, Clooney plays a successful divorce lawyer who has won a court battle with Catherine, who portrays a "vamp" who makes money by marrying then divorcing rich men.

Catherine said she and Clooney enjoyed "great chemistry" on the set of the movie, premiered at what was the 60th Venice Film Festival.

Her publicist Ce Ce Yorke confirmed earlier this week that there would not be a christening ceremony in Swansea.

CATHERINE ZETA JONES has been impressing style gurus with her svelte appearance in the Venice Film Festival just a few months after giving birth to daughter Carys.

She has been on the controversial Atkins Diet since the birth and her new slim appearance down to that.

She was among a host of big name movie actors in Venice including Intolerable Cruelty co-star George Clooney, Nicolas Cage, promoting Ridley Scott's new film Matchstick Men and British star Keira Knightly, promoting Love Actually with Hugh Grant.

More than 140 films were screened during the Venice Festival including Michael Winterbottom's sci-fi tale Code 46 starring Tim Robbins and Samantha Morton.


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