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Zeta-Jones comes back to Zorro

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Mind you, she's looking relaxed and stunning this morning in a simple black and white outfit. On the other hand, she's sometimes delivering her observations in a throaty croak for which she apologizes.

"Excuse me - I sound like a cross between Demi Moore, Kathleen Turner and a truck driver. It's an ongoing kind of allergy thing and I took some medication, thinking it would help and it just dried me up with nothing. I could hardly blink. I thought - God, give me back my runny eyes."

She's in a more personal, domestic mode now - to the point of discussing her home life. For example, she confesses that the only time Douglas is afraid of her is when she's in the kitchen.

"That's what really terrifies him. I am a terrible cook. I'm not allowed to go in the kitchen anymore."

Early in the marriage, when she was trying to prove that she could cook, she burned a pan.

"I did actually burn a pan. It wasn't on fire, but it was smoking, and I got a little scared."

She ran out of the kitchen to find Douglas and tell him: "We have a problem in the kitchen." So is Douglas a better cook?

"No, but he's really good at making dinner reservations and that's fine by me.!"

Ironically, her next movie, Mostly Martha, has her portraying a chef. "So when you next see me, I'm going to be giving you recipes and my tricks of the trade."

After Mostly Martha, she'll be playing screen legend Lana Turner in Stompanato, which deals with the late film's stars controversial romance with abusive gangster Johnny Stompanato.

Father-in-law Kirk Douglas, who acted with Turner, will be her research engine.

She's often asked about the strength of her marriage, and she has one simple answer: "We love each other.

"Michael said this, not me, so I'm just repeating it - but the fact that we're in a 25-year age difference is kind of fantastic. We're at different places in our lives, career-wise and all that stuff. We're not vying for the attention that maybe two actors together around the same age would be vying for."

In other words, there are no career conflicts.

"We have two kids and if I'm working, Michael is with me and the kids, and if he's working, I'm with him. It just works for us. It's not - I love you honey, see you in six months."

Among homes in other cities, the couple bought property near Mount Tremblant last summer, but Bermuda (Michael Douglas's mother is Bermudian) is home base these days. (It's a place where the family is able to live without feeling it's under constant scrutiny.

"That's one of the great things about living in Bermuda. It's just removed, And it's just a great place to bring up kids."

© The Gazette (Montreal) 2005

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