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'I'd give it all up for my family' - Zeta

Sep 21 2003

Rachel Mainwaring, Wales on Sunday


SHE'S got the Hollywood husband, two beautiful children, the much-coveted Oscar on the mantelpiece and now stars alongside gorgeous George Clooney in her latest movie.

But, in an exclusive interview, Intolerable Cruelty star Catherine Zeta Jones has revealed how she'd give it all up for her family, how she still gets stage fright and how, now she has an Academy Award under her belt, the hard work really begins.

Catherine plays much-divorced Marilyn Rexroth in the US comedy, who meets her match in the form of successful sexy divorce lawyer Miles Massey, played by Hollywood heart-throb Clooney.

The film, directed by the acclaimed Coen brothers and released in Britain on October 24, was a breath of fresh air for the Mumbles actress after the treadmill of Chicago and she admits all eyes will be on her performance now she's an Academy Award winner.

She revealed: "Immediately after I won the Oscar I turned to my husband and said, 'Oh my God, now the work begins'.

"But I feel just blessed that I had one of the best years of my life, that will be with me for the rest of my life... and, of course, having another child was the icing on the cake.

"Is the only way down now? Well, I tend not to think like that.

"I suppose there's a dark Welsh side in me because it can't really get any better, but I just hope that my work will keep me going!"

Despite her obvious confidence on-screen, Catherine admits that she still gets very nervous before starting work on a new film.

She said: "I'm always scared, I never sleep the night before I start a movie, I have no idea what I'm gonna do and I'm just terrified.

"And kind of star-struck, too, because I'm so flattered when Soderbergh, the Coen Brothers or Spielberg call you up and want to work with you.

"It's a real juxtaposition, a strange thing, and then you meet them and they're just fabulous and that's why they're so good at what they do."

Catherine, 35, who gave birth to her second child Carys in April, shortly after receiving her Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role as Velma in Chicago, admits motherhood has changed her outlook on her career.

She said: "I always hate saying I'm juggling. How could I possibly juggle my children and my husband, the love of my life? If something would have to go it's certainly not husband or kids.

It's an obvious choice - goodbye career.

"I don't live in Hollywood. I go out, shoot, promote my movies and do premieres and love what I do but then I just go back home to Bermuda where I have my life now and it's very important.

"I feel so blessed that I have a husband who loves me and a family and that I'm financially secure.

"That's a lot in my life, so I'm not possessed about my work in that sense. Work is a big part but not the only part in my life.

"The big difference that has happened in the last few years is my scheduling. Before it was, 'Want to go to Moscow to be in a movie?' And I went, 'Yeah, consider me on the plane'. Now I have two children and there are certain places I wouldn't be able to make movies or be away from the kids too long. It's really the scheduling. I can't pack up and go. Saying that, though, me and my husband are like gypsies, we're always going somewhere!"

Catherine also revealed that she'd be more than happy if son Dylan and daughter Carys decided to follow in mum and dad's footsteps and pursue an acting career.

She said: "I would love them to because this business has been terrific for me.

"I look at my life and say, 'If I hadn't become an actor what the hell would I be doing right now? And if one of them says, 'Mummy, I wanna be like you and Daddy and Grandpa' I'd say absolutely!

"Then again this is probably a better question for Michael because I never had famous parents, my Dad wasn't Spartacus! So I would just warn them about that but absolutely encourage them to do the profession. It's the best job in the world."

And our Cath is still very keen to work alongside hubby Michael, even though plans for a movie starring the two of them in lead roles fell through at the last minute.

She said: "Yes, we are keen but it's tough when you're married, it becomes a little voyeuristic. People think they're looking into your real life.

"But I want to do it because if he wasn't my husband, he's still a terrific actor. He's a two-time Academy Award winner who happens to be married to me.

"Maybe we'll do something on stage. There's removal from the personal side of film-making, which is really quite intimate.

"I can't think of anything better than waking my kids and going to work with my husband. It sounds like a dream job. but it is true. Historically, people don't like to see husband and wife acting."

'There's nothing wrong with being glam mam'


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