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Belfast Telegraph Home > Lifestyle > Film & TV

Ocean's Twelve: How I became one of the guys
As Ocean's Twelve opens today, Catherine Zeta-Jones tells Robin Walker how snogging Brad Pitt was all in a day's work
04 February 2005

With her high-profile Hollywood marriage, her Oscar for Chicago, and roles in everything from Traffic to Intolerable Cruelty, it's hard to remember a time when Catherine Zeta- Jones was best known for The Darling Buds Of May.

But before her international breakthrough in The Mask Of Zorro with Antonio Banderas, the Swansea-born actress was notching up forgettable roles in TV dramas.

And the 35-year-old reveals there was a time when she feared she'd never make the big time.

"I was brushed aside when I first got here, it was a case of, 'Why is she here?'," she recalls.

Now of course, she's half of a celebrity power-marriage with Michael Douglas, and one of the most sought-after female stars in the world, sharing equal billing with George Clooney and Brad Pitt in her latest film, heist caper Ocean's Twelve, which opens today.

The sequel to hit movie Ocean's Eleven, Catherine joins the original cast - also including Matt Damon and Julia Roberts - as a feisty Interpol investigator on the trail of the likeable gang of thieves, including her ex-lover, played by Brad Pitt, who now wants her back.

Despite making her the envy of most of the female population, getting to smack lips with Brad is just part of the job, she laughs.

"You just pop a mint and get on with it," she says. "My husband would say, 'What are you doing today honey?' and I'd say, 'Oh, I'm kissing Brad on a bridge'. We had a lot of fun."

And the on-screen relationship with Brad really adds to the appeal of the film, she says.

"There's a history between these characters. She loves him but she has been dumped by him, then ironically she must go after the love of her life. It makes for good drama."

But regardless of the drama onscreen, offscreen the set was a very laid-back, jokey man's world, she smiles - and she soon become one of the gang.

"I had to leave my prissy girliness at the door and just join in and it was great. All these guys together, it was such a powerful force."

However, not being 'one of the boys' also had its advantages, as she escaped the practical jokes which George Clooney is famous for, and which pretty well everyone fell victim to.

She did get a bit worried about why she was being missed out, though.

"I thought there was a personality clash and the guys didn't like me because I didn't get any pranks. But I've been informed that they can take up to three years and I've known George for two years now so I have a year to go, I guess."

Her co-stars certainly didn't spare each other, with Brad Pitt circulating a memo to the Italian crew of the film that George Clooney was always to be addressed as his character Danny Ocean and not to make eye contact.

Retaliation took the form of a sticker on Brad's car which said 'I'm gay and I vote'. The unsuspecting star drove the vehicle around Los Angeles for several days before he realised.

The humour between the cast helped ease the tension of making a film, says Catherine.

"I don't know about my sense of humour but we have a good laugh when we hang out. The guys are really funny and it's just contagious."

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