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Why Zeta's looking back to '80s style

Oct 19 2005

Western Mail


ALL that was missing was the back-combed hair.

The Eighties '80s are definitely back for Catherine Zeta-Jones, as she demonstrated at the Hollywood premiere of The Legend Of Zorro, with big mascara and lots of lipstick, giving her a throwback look to the decade of excess.

The 36-year-old, reprising the role of fiery Elana in the sequel to the 1998 blockbuster The Mask Of Zorro, also revealed how she keeps in touch with her Swansea roots.

She told how she and husband Michael Douglas, who have two children - Dylan, five, and two-year-old Carys - come back to Catherine's family in Wales to escape the Hollywood hubbub.

"In Wales it's brilliant," she said. "I go to the pub and see everybody who I went to school with. And everybody goes, 'So, what are you doing now?', and I go, 'Oh, I'm doing a film with Antonio Banderas and Anthony Hopkins'. And they go, 'Ooh, good'. And that's it."

That film with Banderas and Hopkins severely ramps up the action for Zeta-Jones, with three action-packed fight scenes.

"I think that if I hadn't already been trained so well by Bob Anderson and Mark Ivie on the first movie - trained really classically - coming back and picking it all up again so quickly would not have been as easy and my fights in this movie wouldn't have turned out so smoothly," she said.

"There was something that came over me when I had a sword in my hand. It was so empowering."

The Legend Of Zorro is set a decade after the previous adventure, when the hero must fight against a group of nefarious businessmen and landowners to ensure California becomes the 31st state.

Elena and Zorro - played again by Antonio Banderas - are now married with a 10-year-old son, Joaquin - but Zorro is torn between his duty to the people and his role as a husband and father. In his valiant attempts to foil the dastardly plot, Zorro runs headlong into a crisis that threatens his life and the safety of his family.

"None of us wanted to embark on a new adventure if we didn't think it would have the same magic as the first film - but when we saw that the script had captured that - well - we knew it was just a slam-dunk!" she said.

"This film is filled with so many different elements - there's familial love, romance, a great deal of humour. I think we topped ourselves this time, due in part to the added element of introducing our son Joaquin, whom you meet and quickly learn to love."

Catherine said director Martin Campbell, who also helmed the first Zorro film and will be directing Daniel Craig in his first outing as James Bond in Casino Royale, has also managed to intensify the comedic elements so well-loved in the first film.

"He really allows the humour to come through amidst all the action, especially in the use of the Zorro theme," she said.

"It makes the movie so much fun. Also, there is no heavy violence in the movie - it relies on the beautiful artistry of swordplay. The fights are amazing, wonderfully paced and stylised."

Not only did the actress have some extremely demanding fight scenes to contend with, she also had to battle against severe weather fluctuations - in particular during a crucial dance sequence which included 500 extras.

"Every time we were ready to roll the cameras, thunder and lightning would start in the distance. Within seconds there would be a torrential downpour. All the flowers would be damp and limp. The candles would go out. They'd be hurrying to drag in the fireworks so they didn't get wet.

"When you see the scene in the finished movie, you'll find it incredible that all that actually happened, because it looks so effortless.

"But let me tell you..."

The Legend Of Zorro opens on Friday


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