'I still flirt with my husband'
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  'I still flirt with my husband'
   By: Noel de Souza
   December 6, 2004

Catherine Zeta Jones
At a private golf club in Palm Springs I await the arrival of Catherine Zeta Jones one of the stars of Ocean’s Twelve.

Ocean’s Twelve is set in Italy so I wonder why I’m transported all the way to this desert spot to conduct an interview.

My only conclusion is that the cast of the original Ocean’s Eleven (Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr), known as the rat-pack, hung out and partied in Palm Springs.

Ocean’s Twelve came about as a result of director Steven Soderbergh’s visit to Rome when he went to promote Ocean’s Eleven.

He fell in love with the city and began to think of what the structure of Ocean’s Twelve would be. In the meantime producer Jerry Weintraub had read George Nofli’s screenplay entitled Honor Among Thieves.

It was about the greatest thief in Europe who zeroes in on the territory of the greatest thief in America and steals a job from him while they are both being pursued by a female FBI agent. Honor Among Thieves was developed and took shape as Ocean’s Twelve.

The FBI agent was transformed into a Europol agent and Catherine Zeta Jones was cast in the part. She and Julia Roberts are the only two females in the film.

So Catherine was the new kid on the set, what was that like for her?

“Embarking on the project with all these actors was a little daunting, as an actress you usually work with one of these guys, but here I was working with the bunch of them.

But the work environment was pretty cool and the guys are good guys to hang out with. I just mucked in and became one of the guys really. I played poker and drank with them.”

She keeps referring to them as good guys, what does she mean by that? “I think guys without egos, they are really kind and funny to boot. They look out for us girls.”

In the film she’s making out with Brad Pitt, what did hubby Michael Douglas think of that?

“Someone’s got to do it, it’s a tough job (she laughs). It’s like my husband said ‘what are you doing today honey?’ I said kissing Brad and he said ‘have a great day’. My husband is friends with these guys and we all get along.”

What is the glue that binds Catherine and Michael’s marriage? “We’re good friends, we’re born on the same day albeit 25 years difference.

Sometimes in this business you spend a lot of time being nice to strangers, which is fine, and you neglect the person that you love more than anything and we never take each other for granted. I still flirt with my husband and play the seducing game.”

All her seduction pays off. Michael gives her gifts to remember special occasions by.

Two small platinum baby shoes hang on a chain around her neck given to her when her two children were born. An emerald solitaire dangles just below, a gift for her birthday. And for their anniversary he gifted her a beautiful Tudor, Celtic coin and brought her coffee in bed.

As an actress she has to keep herself looking fit and beautiful. Does she do anything special to maintain herself? “I kind of do a bit of everything really.

I’ve been eating Mexican food recently (on location for Zorro). I think just running around after my children and working is exercise enough. I’m actually looking forward to a little break and just being mom and I tell you something that keeps you on your toes and keeps you fit.

But I like to work out. I’ll tell you what I should do because I love it so much is sword fencing as a hobby, that’s the best exercise. No squats are going to get you in better shape.”

Will there be an Ocean’s Thirteen? She hopes so, because even though all of the actors took a pay-cut to see that the movie got made, the experience was fun and she’d like to have that experience again.


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