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BRING ON BRIGADOON; Catherine Zeta Jones would love the chance to return to the stage.

Byline: By Sasha Mansworth

CATHERINE Zeta Jones would willingly swap her glam designer gowns for a tartan mini skirt if it meant a return to Broadway.

After her Oscar success in Chicago, the Hollywood star would love to sing and dance her way back on to the big screen.

The Welsh-born beauty says: 'I'm dying to do another musical I'd love to bring something great again to the big screen.'

Mention a few titles and she interrupts saying: 'What about Brigadoon? I'd love that. Honestly, I'd love to do anything on a stage.'

Nearly nine months pregnant with her daughter Carys last year, she waddled out on to the stage at the Oscars to sing a tune from Chicago.

Today, the 34-year-old star's thoughts are straying from the misty glens of Brigadoon.

'My mind is in Spain because Michael is there with the kids and I miss them so much,' she frets, adding: 'I just got off the plane from our house there. I feel like I'm living my movie, The Terminal.'

The film is the reason why Douglas is on nappy duty with Dylan, three, and Carys, one.

Directed by Steven Spielberg, Catherine stars with Tom Hanks who plays a man from a fictional Eastern European country. He lands at JFK airport in New York on some family business, but before he can find his first rude New York cabbie, his character is informed that there has been a coup in his country.

His passport is invalid. He cannot enter American soil. He can't go back to his country either. He must live in the airport until this is cleared up.

The movie is based on a real-life case where a man was stuck at an airport in Paris due to the same circumstances.

'It's not just about the sheer horror of being stuck in the airport, and we've all been there,' Catherine says. 'It's much more a story of what if you had no country or no place to call home. Can you imagine the fear of knowing that you were absolutely lost in the world?'

It's a film about how quick Americans are to shove aside people who don't speak the language. The New York airport is initially filled with rude types who make the man's life an even bigger hell with their attitudes.

Catherine knows that feeling, insisting that life wasn't easy when she arrived in LA from Swansea in the Eighties.

She may have set Britain's hearts a-flutter as Marietta Larkin in the Darling Buds of May, but all of that meant nothing on US soil.

'I came to America thinking that people would look me in the eye and say good morning. I was brushed aside, too, when I first got here. It was a case of, 'Why is she here? Where is she from?' She was determined to fit in and says: 'We're all immigrants in this country. We're all from somewhere else. I didn't care if it took me some time to get used to the culture. I always had the American dream.

'I needed to leave Wales because I was convinced that things could happen to me here.'

Happen they did.

Her drive to succeed as an actress put the brakes on her buying a one-way ticket back to Wales. She broke through to American audiences in the film Zorro with Antonio Banderas. In fact, she will soon film the sequel with him. 'I'll be pouring myself into another corset,' she says.

Catherine doesn't mind because she was never content living in South Wales.

After countless local productions, she spent her teen years on a bus to London where she auditioned and got work in musicals.

At 15, she was living in her own London flat with her parents' blessing. After a starring role in West End show 42nd Street, she left the stage for British TV.

She reckons her best move on American soil was meeting film star Michael Douglas, tap dancing in his bathroom on their first date and then falling in love with him.

Catherine says: 'I was very lucky to meet the love of my life, and now Michael and I have two wonderful children. I couldn't have dreamed it up any better.

'We were in Traffic together which was wonderful, but we weren't in any scenes together.

'Quite honestly, if Michael wasn't my husband, I'd still love to work with Michael Douglas.

'But it's tricky with real-life couples. You really do have to find the right thing because everyone is watching.

She adds: 'It's a very hard thing for an audience to get over thinking, 'Oh, they're up on screen and they're married, too'.'

Catherine says that it's enough trying to work together on their home projects.

They are one of Hollywood's reigning power couples with homes in Majorca and New York.

That's where they raise their children. It sounds like a thrilling life, but Catherine insists it's all quite normal.

Ask her how they keep the romance alive, and she pooh-poohs the idea of having a 'date night' .

'Oh no! Forget about going out. Michael and I are homebodies,' she says.

'We're happy to just sit on the couch like everybody else and watch the news or a sporting event.'

Then there are the kids. 'Michael is such a terrific father. It's been that way since both children were born. He's the kind of man who says, 'Honey, you go to the restaurant to meet our friends. I'll meet you there in 30 minutes because Dylan needs a story'.'

Catherine is still as loved-up as the day they tied the knot in the New York Plaza four years ago in front of Hollywood royalty. She says: 'It's been an incredible life with Michael. What having a family does for me is put everything in my life in perspective.

'I love my work, I love to dissect my performances and I'm critical and all those things, but at the end of the day I go home to my husband and our babies. It's now part of a life I could never imagine not having.

'You look back on your life and there's this sense that you spent so much time not having a real life outside of your work.

'Yeah, I know I made movies, I dated some guys, and then I got married and had two children.

'I wonder what I did with my life to fill up those hours. I have no idea. I probably complained a lot about my life.'

Catherine had much-publicised relationships with shamed TV presenter John Leslie and Simply Red frontman Mick Hucknall.

She has just been in Amsterdam shooting love scenes with Brad Pitt for Ocean's Twelve.

She appears alongside the Hollywood hunk as an Interpol agent.

She says: 'It's been great fun doing the film and everyone has been having such a good time it really doesn't feel like work.

'I've also just finished shooting my love scenes with Brad Pitt.

Sorry if that sounds like a tough life, but someone's gotta do it!'


SCOTCH MIST: Gene Kelly and Van Johnson in Brigadoon; HAPPY FAMILY: Catherine with Michael and the kids
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jun 26, 2004
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