Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Kate Beckinsale refers to her private parts as “Pharaoh’s tomb”

Kate BeckinsaleSaucy Kate Beckinsale says her best asset is so private she can't name it out loud or show it in public.

The Brit actress, 34, made the cryptic comment by saying: "Mmmm. My best feature is unfortunately a private matter I'm told it's spectacular.

"But you can't really walk it down the red carpet. But what can I say?"

Beckinsale paid herself the cheeky compliment during an interview with US beauty magazine, Allure. The actress, who appears on the front cover of the March issue, also refers to her nether regions as "Pharaoh's tomb."

Complaining she was called a "slut" when she split from Brit actor Michael Sheen to begin her romance with director husband Len Wisemen, she says: "Boyfriends? In my life I have had three. Three.

"Only a handful of people have seen into the Pharaoh's tomb."

The actress gave the candid interview as she promotes her new movie, Nothing But the Truth. In the film she plays a fictionalised version of former New York Times reporter Judith Miller, who was jailed in 2005 for contempt of court for refusing to identify the person who leaked the name of CIA agent Valerie Plume.

Beckinsale takes the opportunity to look back at her life - professionally and personally. At one point she confesses she was so fed up with acting she considered quitting Hollywood to become a doctor. She says: "I was at the point where I was wondering whether the work I was doing was sustaining me intellectually.

"I'd had enough of the ludicrous questions like: 'Have you had your boobs done?' Or: 'Have you slept with Colin Farrell?'"

The actress, who claims she's done neither, says: "I had done a number of press junkets where the questions were not very intelligent, and if you get somebody who's a bit slow and stupid, it's the most boring thing ever.

"I had quite a few of those."

The daughter of late sitcom star Richard Beckinsale, Kate describes coming to Hollywood and the baptism of fire that she received. She says: "I sort of ended up in Los Angeles by accident.

"And it was sort of terrible to be jostled into this position of a fame-hungry starlet, which is so honestly not me.

"In fact I could use a bit more of that because I am such a hermit. So I allowed myself to get really bothered."

Beckinsale says she was also bothered with the public and critical reaction to the box office failure Pearl Harbor - the 2001 romance that starred Ben Affleck. She says: "People still say to me: 'What was it like being in such a huge flop?'

"The amount of hatred and vitriol was surprising."

The actress confesses that she hid behind Affleck's back during filming because "I was scared of people yelling at me on the set."

While doing Pearl Harbor, Beckinsale says her body was scrutinised to the extent that she had to wear fake boobs on a daily basis.

"Adjusting my breasts for every shot," she says. "Yes, they gave me these things to put in my costumes - they looked like cutlets, chicken cutlets - to make me voluptuous.

"They're sort of rubberised, horrible, medical-looking things, and between takes I'd take them out and leave them on some table, and I couldn't even remember to put my boobs back in.

"They were turning up everywhere."

Beckinsale's breasts were not the only parts of her body commented on. She says: "Seventeen people in suits are looking at your upper arms and going: 'She really needs to be in a gym'."

The actress is equally revealing about her love life, confessing that husband Len Wisemen "worships" her. She says: "I have a husband who literally worships me. And he cleans the house and blow-dries my daughter's hair."

The couple - that has been married since 2004 - live in Los Angeles with Beckinsale's daughter Lily. She had the nine-year-old with her ex-lover, fellow British actor Michael Sheen, 39.

Sheen and Beckinsale ended their nine-year relationship shortly after they worked together on the 2003 film Underworld, which was directed by Wisemen. The actress gave birth to her daughter soon after giving up studies at Oxford to focus completely on acting.

"I was doing two things that require 100 per cent commitment; movies and a double honours at Oxford, which is no small thing," she says. "And then I got pregnant and never again did only one thing at a time in my life.

"It was like: 'Oh my God, I'm like the Virgin Mary'.

"Well, I wasn't the Virgin Mary, obviously. But we'd [she and Sheen] been careful. I wasn't so much horrified as, you know, just blindsided."

Beckinsale was 25 when Lily was born and had been with Sheen for the previous five years. The two actors never married. "Michael is not so much the marrying kind," she says.

But while marriage wasn't on the cards, parenthood was readily accepted. Beckinsale says: "There was never a question of not having her. Michael is head over heels in love with her."

Now a young mum, the actress continued her career but felt vulnerable when actor Jeremy Northam, she alleges, shouted at her on set. It was seven months after her daughter's birth and she was playing a deceived wife in The Golden Bowl, released in 2000. "I definitely felt plain," she says about the role. But, she says: "I don't respond great to being yelled at."

Sheen - her boyfriend at the time allegedly wasn't best pleased either. He apparently visited the set during the alleged shouting incident and, according to the claims of Beckinsale, punched Northam. She says: "I was so mortified. I thought: 'Now Michael's going to jail and I'm going to have to bake that cake and put the file in it'.

"But it all became very sort of British and gentlemanly between those two, with handshaking all around."

She added: "Michael's Welsh, you know."

Beckinsale says that the birth of her baby daughter and the sleepless nights that came with it changed the type of acting roles she sought. She says: "I think that's why I gravitated toward slightly broaderum, more conceptual kinds of movies, Underworld and Van Helsing [both action fantasy horrors].

"That was as much as I could actually give.

"But you're actually more of an animated figure. It does go against the grain, as an actor."

Taking those roles also had an impact on her family life as Beckinsale's relationship with Sheen came to an end. "One of us had to end it," she says. "It was kind of a mess."

The "mess" was the fact that Beckinsale had fallen in love with Wisemen, the couple's Underworld director. The film was released in 2003 and she said at the time: "If you meet somebody who makes you feel like you'll die if you're not with them, there's not much you can do about that."

Now though the "mess" has eased into a happy extended family, according to the actress. She says: "People come over for Thanksgiving and we're all there and Michael and Len are doing karaoke."

The two men are actually working on the next part of the horror series, Underworld: Rise of the Lycans, which Beckinsale calls "the little franchise in our family."

Acting runs in her blood. She was born in London in 1973 to actors Richard Beckinsale and Judy Loe. Her father was a beloved sitcom actor famous for his roles in Seventies UK TV shows Rising Damp and Porridge. But the elder Beckinsale died suddenly of a heart attack in 1979. He was 31. His daughter was five.

From then on she gained recognition during her childhood years for her writing talent. At 14 she won the WH Smith Young Writers prize for poetry. Poet laureate Ted Hughes presented the award to her. One of the winning poems was called Nine Left, One Departed.

"It was a fairly surreal poem about someone cutting off my toe and sucking my soul out of it," Beckinsale says. "But the next year I won the award again, for short stories.

"They were mainly about some form of death. One was a bit like the film The Sixth Sense.

"It was about a girl who is having some sort of breakdown and is seeing dead people."

Kate didn't just inherit her father's famous name and acting talent she also received his DNA - slightly tilted eyes, a genetic throwback to a great-great grandparent on her dad's side. "It's funny," Beckinsale says, "because these days everyone just assumes I'm so British through and through."

It is this British appearance that won the teen a role in Kenneth Branagh's Much Ado About Nothing. The film was based on Shakespeare's play and starred actors Keanu Reeves, Denzel Washington and Branagh's then wife, Emma Thompson.

At 19, Beckinsale found herself sharing a Tuscan castle with some of Hollywood's finest. She says: "[It was] the most miraculous first job. And no one had a trailer - no one. Denzel didn't have a trailer."

Each morning movie hunk Reeves drove her to the set because Beckinsale couldn't - and still can't - drive. "We had a great script and lovely people, and I fell in love with everyone," she says.

Although Beckinsale resumed her studies at Oxford University where she was reading French and Russian literature, she eventually gave it up to concentrate on acting full time. Now the actress juggles her career while raising her daughter, maintaining a marriage and friendly relations with her ex-lover. She says: "Acting requires so much delving into yourself and exposing yourself, so it's sensible to be wondering: 'Do I still want to be doing this?'

"But I enjoy the work, and everything is so solid at home.

"I don't care if they say I have buttock implants, or not. I don't care. Go ahead.

"That's the nice thing about getting to the age I am. I could have said I didn't care before - but secretly I did. And now I really don't."

Beckinsale says she is so secure that she doesn't mind her husband prolonging an old joke about her teeth, first started by Affleck on the Pearl Harbor set. Back then Affleck teased his co-star about the size of her teeth comparing her to the talking horse Mr Ed, popular on US TV in the 1960s.

Wisemen apparently told his wife that peanut butter was spooned into the horse's mouth so the animal moved his lips constantly and appeared to be speaking. But Beckinsale says she takes the teasing in her stride. She says: "Len will say: 'Let's put some peanut butter on Kate's teeth and send her off to work'. And off I go."

By Marissa Charles, Feb 26 2008 © Copyright 2008 - Showbiz Spy

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