“Side Effects” brings actress Catherine Zeta-Jones and director together for the third time, following “Traffic” and “Ocean’s 12,” and Zeta-Jones says Soderbergh knows the secret to keeping actors coming back.
“He rubbed my feet when I was pregnant in ‘Traffic.’ That’s the only reason why I keep coming back,” she says with a laugh. “He looked after a pregnant woman so well, I just knew I’d always be in good hands.”
Of course, it takes more than foot rubs to get Zeta-Jones interested in a project. Over the past few years, she has focused on her home life following husband Michael Douglas’ battle with cancer.
“I love my job but it takes me a lot to leave my kids, leave my husband and leave my dogs,” she says. “I find it really hard to leave my children. I think that I’ll never get these beautiful, formative, delicious years back, and it takes me great thought and what is it that I want to leave my kids and my husband for? And this obviously was a must for me. I’d pretty much do the phonebook with Steven if he asked me, just read it in three different languages — French, Welsh and English.”
There was one other element of “Side Effects” that had a can’t-miss appeal for Zeta-Jones, and that was the chance to tackle playing an accomplished psychiatrist.
“I’m actually thrilled that Steven cast me as a doctor because I never went to college, and I always wanted an M.D. after my name,” she says. “I’m really quite flattered that he fulfilled my mother’s dream.”
There are other gigs beckoning Zeta-Jones away from home, too. She just wrapped filming on “Red 2,” the sequel to the 2011 action hit starring Bruce Willis and Helen Mirren, and she’ll be on stage later this month at the Oscars for the awards show’s tribute to musicals from the past decade, including “Chicago,” for which Zeta-Jones won an Oscar.
“I’m absolutely terrified. I don’t quite know the exact capacity in which I will be [involved],” she says. “I’ll be there, put it that way. I don’t quite know what I’ll be doing. That will be fun.”
Her husband is kissing Matt Damon
Catherine Zeta-Jones’ husband, Michael Douglas, is also re-teaming with director Steven Soderbergh, taking on the role of Liberace in the HBO movie “Behind the Candelabra.” The role calls or Douglas to lock lips on-screen with co-star Matt Damon, something Zeta-Jones says she’s come to terms with.
“I’ve seen ‘Behind the Candelabra’ and if my husband’s going to kiss anybody else in the world, I’m so happy it’s Matt Damon,” she says. “Supposedly when Matt Damon was kissing Michael, he closed his eyes and pretended he was kissing me. He said that to Michael. Matt was closing his eyes and kissing Michael and pretending he was kissing me, and I just thought that was one of the biggest compliments I’ve ever had.”