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Feisty Zeta-Jones In 'Sinbad'

CATHERINE ZETA-JONES is the voice of Marina, the beautiful but headstrong woman who proves a formidable foil for Sinbad
DREAMWORKS
It has been a great 2003 for Catherine Zeta-Jones. Earlier this year, she won an Academy Award for "Chicago." Less than a month later, Zeta-Jones gave birth to her daughter, Carys, with husband Michael Douglas. Now she's back in theaters, as the voice of the very independent Marina in the animated film "Sinbad: Legend Of The Seven Seas."

The Early Show co-anchor Rene Syler caught up with Zeta-Jones to find out what it was like to have this role at this stage of her life.

Zeta-Jones describes Marina as "a feisty, love-of-life, different multilayered woman and a great character for an animated film. You know, so often the princesses are the pretty dresses and they're in the castle and they're waiting to be the damsels in distress. And she's not bad and I think it's good for young girls and women alike to see a character like Marina."

She identifies with the role, thanks to her upbringing. Zeta-Jones says, "My brothers are my best friends. And I have to just join in. There was no prissiness. You know, if you can't beat them, join them."

And she says she liked it just fine, "I couldn't say I was a tomboy because I loved all the girlie things and I still do. I wore my mom's shoes, the make-up, the jewelry, everything. But I certainly had to muck in and...and I wasn't afraid to get down there with them and beat it out, literally."

Though playing rough with boys meant getting hurt sometimes, Zeta-Jones says, "I remember my father coming in once and saying, 'Okay. You boys can't hit her in those areas, and you can't kick him down there.' And that was the end of the conversation."

Zeta-Jones was the first voice cast for "Sinbad," almost four years ago. The extended period of time allowed her to put her own imprint on the character.

She says, "You go in and sometimes six months later, then a year later, you go in and do a few scenes and then they change it a bit and you can see the character really forming and so I was part of the conception which I like. I wanted to do this one for my son. I wanted him to know what, you know, mommy and daddy actually do for a living. And I thought this would be an amazing opportunity for him to hear me and to get a sense of me on film and that I'm a different character."

Her 2-1/2-year-old son, Dylan Michael, however, has not seen it yet. Zeta-Jones says laughing, "As a mother, I just wanted to watch it first to see what was going on before I cart him off and pay my dollars."

Her prediction is that Dylan will be "fascinated by it," she says. "I think he's going to love it for it's a love story. It's warm. It's got the adventure, the action. I think little girls will like it as well as boys. I think Marina comes fueling in just as much as Sinbad. And so I think it'll be great for girls. But my daughter's too young to see it."

As for being a mom, she says everything is going great, "Couldn't have asked for it better," she says, noting at the beginning the couple was worried about their son's reaction to the arrival of Carys. But "he's a good boy," she says. "He knows to be gentle. When people come to visit us he says, 'Do you want to come see my sister? Her name is Carys.'"

How time flies. Oscar night, she was eight-and-a-half months pregnant. Zeta-Jones says, "I can't remember the last year. It was like a fantastic adventure world wind - a bit like 'Sinbad.' It was an amazing time and...it wasn't until a few weeks ago I woke up and went, 'What happened?'"

The whole year, she said, was great. Zeta-Jones adds, "Then to sing at the Oscars with Queenie. We did question our sanity at one moment when we looked at each other just as the band struck up. I did look at her, and I won't even going to tell you what we said to each other, because it was like, 'What were we thinking about?'"

Some pregnant women can't even move at 8-and-a-half months. So how did she managed to sing?

Zeta-Jones says, "It was a bit different 'cause the diaphragm's all squashed up there, you know? But my doctor was very funny as I went to see him for a checkup a few days later and he went, 'You didn't tell me that part.' I just told him I was going to the Oscars." And she laughs.

"Sinbad" joins the Box Office competition on Wednesday.