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Why Zeta's a million-dollar woman

Jun 9 2004

The Western Mail


Zeta Jones

CATHERINE ZETA-JONES has insisted she really is a million-dollar woman, saying, "A million bucks is not a lot of money for name and likeness".

The Swansea-born wife of Michael Douglas, who was lambasted for once saying a million dollars was "not that much for us", hit back at her critics.

"Ask Julia Roberts, Tom Cruise, Meryl Streep, anybody in our industry. Everyone knows we get paid a lot of money, so why pretend otherwise? So people will like me? It's dumb," she said.

Zeta-Jones, who will appear in the forthcoming movie Ocean's 12, posed for the July issue of W Magazine. She plays homage to her homeland by donning a glamorous version of traditional Welsh dress and posing with a giant bunch of daffodils.

She told the magazine, "I'm in a world where I get paid for my name and likeness.

"And I get compensated very well for it. Otherwise get some other Catherine Jones to come and be the name on top! A million bucks is not a lot of money for name and likeness."

But she hates the unwanted publicity that comes with celebrity.

"When it comes to the red carpet, my philosophy is, I'll stand there all night long if you really want, but please, please, don't come harassing me," she said.

Zeta-Jones and Douglas won a court battle against Hello! magazine after it published unauthorised pictures of their wedding - although the couple were awarded much less money than they had sought.

It was during the case that she made the now-famous comments about a million dollars being "not that much" money.

She insisted that the case was not about money.

"Does anyone think I'd go to that extent if I weren't so wild about the injustice?" she said.

"It was the principle: You're not invited to my wedding, so don't come. Okay?"

The mother-of-two shot to fame in Britain in the TV series The Darling Buds of May.

But it was not until she cracked Hollywood that she became an international star with an Oscar to her name.

She remembered in the early days of her career calling her parents after a night on stage and letting the phone ring three times before hanging up - as a code to say she was home safe.

"God forbid we have to pay for the phone call," she laughed.

Approaching 35, Zeta-Jones is stung by suggestions that she is older than she lets on.

"I've been documented since I was 11 years old. If I look older, I'm so sorry. I'm not a klutzy, stupid woman, and you know, that comes with maturity.

"Ask any smart woman out there. If people think I look old, there's nothing I can do about it. I turn 35 this year."

She said she thought people should be happy for her.

"If I never went on a film set again, I'd still have plenty to do. Being a wife and mother is real work. There's a certain group of actors who are my contemporaries - if they don't do a role, I do it, or if I don't do it, they do. But there aren't many who've had kids and who are still married to their husbands and who also have a career.

"I'm a lucky girl. I've got two healthy kids, a great husband, a great career.

"I've got money that I worked for.

"I didn't grow up with a silver spoon. I've worked really bloody hard and I don't get it why people don't go, 'Oh, good for her'."


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