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The Woman from Wales

Movie star. Oscar winner. Wife of Michael Douglas. Catherine Zeta-Jones is all those things as she nears 40 but at heart, she is still a small-town girl.
Marshall Fine
From the Print Edition:
Catherine Zeta-Jones, September/October 2009

(continued from page 6)

"I don't want to do another revival," she says. "I want something new, fresh, original, something I can put my stamp on. I'm talking to Bartlett Sher (Tony Award—winning director of South Pacific) about a musical based on Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown.

"I do get a rush when I perform live. When I hosted Saturday Night Live with a live audience, I was terrified. But when it was finished, it was such a rush that I said, 'I want to do it again.' Performing live is such a great adrenaline buzz. I'd like to do a Vegas show and work with dancers again."

Because she's being interviewed for a magazine that celebrates the joy of a good cigar, the subject is raised: "For me, cigars always conjure the image of sophisticated gentlemen, who pride themselves on enjoying a good cigar," she says.

Then she admits, "I've never smoked a cigar. Michael used to smoke them. I remember spending time with him in cigar bars, with dark lighting—those were some of our dates. I didn't realize how expensive they could be. I have a friend who smokes them and you could be smoking something that's the price of a diamond ring! Believe me, he savored them to the last ash."

She also encounters cigars on the golf course: She's an avid golfer who misses no opportunity to get in a round.

"When she's in L.A., she'll call me sometimes and say, 'Let's go play nine holes,' " Foster says. "I remember one time, she parred a hole and she danced around the green like a little kid. She takes it very seriously."

Says Douglas, "I'm the better golfer but she looks better playing. We both have a healthy competitive streak. And she's got a fine cursing vocabulary. She swears well."

As the lunch winds down, the talk returns to The Rebound and to the notion of age. She'll be 40 on Sept. 25, a birthday she shares with Douglas (who will be 65 the same day). A realist, Zeta-Jones recognizes that meaty parts become scarce for women of a certain age.

"I feel much younger than I am," she says. "When you're 10 or 20, 40 looks really old. When I was nearing 30, I thought, 'Wow, I'm going to be 30 in the millennium.' That seemed like a huge milestone.

"Career-wise, I think it will be a huge change; I'm going into a different chapter as an actor. You change; I have two kids so I'm not going to be playing the young ingenues. But I'm not going to play the mother of teenagers either. It's about finding those other roles."

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