"I heard he was going to call about a project," she told The Early Show co-anchor Hannah Storm. "I said, 'He can call but tell him yes' … I was also very curious that he would have ever have thought me out for something."
The movie is about Frank Falenczyk, played by Kingsley. Frank is an alcoholic hitman and his drinking gets in the way of his work for his Polish mafia family. His uncle sends him to rehab in San Francisco, where he meets Laurel, played by Leoni. Laurel, Leoni said, is one of her favorite types of characters to play: a damaged woman.
"Because they're tricky," she said. "It's very boring to play, you know, just a woman waiting at home to hand a guy his briefcase, you know. I want to be messed up, complicated."
Laurel meets Frank at a funeral home where he got a job. He is embalming her dead stepfather, who she never particularly cared for.
"We sort of hit it off. We end up going out on a date, very innocent evening at a Chinese restaurant," Leoni said.
In real life, Leoni is married to actor David Duchovny and they just celebrated their 10th anniversary. In honor of that milestone, the couple got tattoos of their wedding bands.
"Little letters for sweet nothings we have always said to one another," she said. "I haven't told my mother, is the thing. I have some girlfriends in town and we went out and I thought, 'I'm going to wait to get my mother drunk, when she's had three glasses of wine, I'll whip the thing off, start going like this and start going like this because she's going to kill me.' "
Leoni can understand why her mother wouldn't approve. She said she would be horrified if her 8-year-old daughter got one, even as an adult.
Besides her busy family life, last year Leoni joined the board of directors for the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, which has its headquarters in New York City.
"I'm trying to get David used to the idea that I really do want to come to New York and make the UNICEF work a greater part of my life and be able to devote more time to it," she said, "because it's really become an incredible passion."