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Zeta-Jones swept away by adventure `Legend'
By Stephen Schaefer
Wednesday, October 26, 2005

For Catherine Zeta-Jones, the role of feisty Elena in the two Zorro films holds a special place in her heart.
     ``Michael (Douglas) saw me in `The Mask of Zorro' and then seduced me. Hounded me. Followed me around the world until he found me,'' she said, smiling broadly at the memory of how she met her future husband in France on a press tour.
     But ``Mask of Zorro'' was nine years ago. Since then, she's won an Academy Award for ``Chicago'' and established herself with a string of hits, including last year's ``Ocean's Twelve.''


     A Zorro sequel seemed unlikely.
     ``Look at me now, two kids later, OK? But when I used to bump into Antonio (Banderas) and (director) Martin Campbell, it was always in the conversation. `Come on. Let's do another one. We had so much fun.' ''
     The problem was, as it so often is, the lack of a decent script.
     ``We didn't want to do a sequel unless we were going to do one that was as good as or could surpass the original one. Some of the drafts kind of forgot that I had a kid at the end of `Mask of Zorro.' ''
     In ``The Legend of Zorro,'' Alejandro De La Vega/Zorro and Elena's 10-year-old son, Joaquin (Adrian Alonso), is essential to the adventure.
     ``The story is Zorro's conflict,'' Campbell said. ``Who does he look after? His larger family, the people of California or his immediate family?''
     For Zeta-Jones, who once again wields a lightning-fast sword, there were a few crucial differences this time around.
     ``When I first went down to Mexico City, no one knew me,'' she recalled, citing museum visits and bargain buys in the market. ``People would speak to me in Spanish because they thought that I was Spanish. Now, just trying to keep where I lived private was quite hard.''
     Zeta-Jones did not have much prep time to learn Elena's extensive swordplay.
     ``I was kind of nervous because after the first one, I had great expectations of continuing this and maybe being an Olympic swordswoman. I saw the medal sitting right there, but, of course, lazy me.'' She laughed. ``But it came back. It really did.''  [continue]
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