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It's Cool To Be A 'Goddess Of Chaos'

Michelle Pfeiffer has long been known as one of Hollywood's most beautiful faces, but she relished the opportunity to perform with only her voice in the new animated film "Sinbad: Legend Of The Seven Seas."

She says all that Jeffrey Katzenberg, Dream Works co-founder and producer of the animated blockbusters "Shrek" and "The Prince of Egypt," had to say to her was, "Goddess of Chaos," and she was sold on playing the part of the evil Goddess Eris.

She explains, "I think I spent so much of my time trying to be orderly and be right and controlled and I thought, it would be incredibly liberating to do something like that."

Director Tim Johnson describes Eris as "cat woman with a God complex." And Pfeiffer agrees. She says, "I think that's a pretty good description. I wish I had thought of that."

Eris is bad, Pfeiffer says. "Well, she's just bored. She just likes to stir up a little trouble."

"Sinbad" also stars the voices of Brad Pitt and Catherine Zeta-Jones, but the actors read their parts separately, which Pfeiffer considers a curse and a blessing.

She says, "It's a challenge. But at the same time it can be liberating in that you can be totally narcissistic in your approach to the work. And kind of fine tune it and keep doing it until it sounds exactly the way you want it to sound."

Even if that sound was almost impossible for Pfeiffer to find.

"My character was probably still a work in progress when I came on board," she says. "I do think it took them a while to find it. And it took me a while to figure out what their process was. And so when I kept having to redo it, at a certain point I called up Jeffrey Katzenberg and I said, 'You know, Jeffrey. If you cast the wrong actress it's really OK. You can replace me. I promise I won't be offended.'"

Well, it's a good thing he didn't. She says her kids love the film.

Pfeiffer says, "They've seen it a zillion times. What was exciting for my children, a real luxury, was they got to sort of see it as a work in progress. And they were very intrigued by that because it starts out really in drawings and sketches and you know the voice over is the first thing that's laid down."

Pfeiffer has been married to mega television hit-maker David E. Kelly for almost a decade. Despite being half of a Hollywood power couple, she leads a very private life, although she says she is learning to open up.

Pfeiffer says, "I feel like I've become so much more forthcoming. I used to be really bad. I can't imagine trying to interview at the beginning of my career. It was just like pulling teeth to get me to say anything. Just didn't want to share.

"I just think I'm inherently a shy person and I think one of the reasons I probably became an actor was because it gave me an opportunity to sort of safely express feelings and work through those kinds of things. And not really be responsible for my actions."

Since making her leading lady debut in 1982's "Grease Two" Pfeiffer has starred in such films as "What Lies Beneath," "Batman Returns," and "Dangerous Minds," gaining a reputation as being one of Hollywood's most versatile and talented actresses. She's also earned Oscar nominations for her performances in "Dangerous Liasons," "The Fabulous Baker Boys," and "Love Field." Despite Hollywood's seemingly endless fascination with youth, Pfeiffer says things couldn't be better for her personally and professionally right now.

"I actually think that even though the roles might be fewer I think they're better," Pfeiffer says. "I think I enjoy the work more than I ever have. I mean this whole kind of youth thing…I've been around long enough that this is the second cycle of it that I've seen. So it kind of all comes in cycles and you kind of wait it through and then-- people are ready for something new."

Laughing, Pfeiffer adds, "Or something 'old.'"

"Sinbad: Legend Of The Seven Seas" makes its way into theaters Wednesday.