The feisty Welsh actress has rediscovered her love of swashbuckling swordplay for The Legend Of Zorro, the sequel to The Mask Of Zorro, the film that made her an international star in 1998.
This time the 36-year-old, as the fiery Elena, is anything but a damsel in distress with three action-packed fight scenes to master.
"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 says.
"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 says.
She adds that it's unlikely that there would ever have been a Zorro sequel without the talent and craftsmanship of Martin Campbell - an accomplished director with huge box-office hits under his belt including GoldenEye, Vertical Limit and, of course, The Mask Of Zorro.
Catherine says Campbell has also managed to intensify the comedic elements so well-loved in the first film.