Catherine Zeta Jones is America's sweetheart
by Rich Cline • Man About Town, 31 October 2001
You have to be either stupid or very confident to share the screen with Catherine Zeta Jones at the moment. She's on a white hot streak of scene-stealing roles, including her latest hit America's Sweethearts, which she pulls out from underneath the undeniably talented Julia Roberts, John Cusack and Billy Crystal with only a subtle flick of her eyebrows.
After hitting the big time in Britain in the early 1990s TV series Darling Buds of May, she smouldered in the background of such duds as Christopher Columbus and The Plantom. Then she made the world sit up and notice her in 1998's The Mask of Zorro (Antonio Banderas and Anthony Hopkins were apparently also in that one). And the following year she slithered her way past Sean Connery in Entrapment, and was the only actor to emerge with any dignity from The Haunting, even though her character was laughably silly. Last year she scored the one-two punch of High Fidelity (a memorable cameo in a film full of classic moments) and Traffic (robbed of an Oscar nomination for a terrific, serious turn as a drug dealer's wife who takes matters into her own hands).
She's even managed to triumph over the press flack surrounding her marriage to Michael Douglas, the self-confessed 57-year-old sexaholic who fathered her 1-year-old son Dylan.
In America's Sweethearts she plays one of the title characters, Gwen Harrison, a spoiled movie star who must get on with her ex, Eddie (John Cusack), to promote their last film as a couple. "Gwen and Eddie are the quintessential celebrity couple everyone wants to read about," she says. "Audiences only want to see the movie where they get together. And off screen it's a different story."
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