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Ashley Judd Actress

Ashley Judd

Blessed with a rare combination of beauty, brains, and talent, actress Ashley Judd spent the 1990s gaining critical acclaim, industry respect, and a broad fan base that made her one of the most in-demand actresses of the latter half of the decade. The daughter of country-music superstar Naomi Judd and the younger half-sister of singer Wynonna Judd, Judd was born in Los Angeles, California on April 19, 1968. A single parent, her mother supported Judd and her sister by taking odd jobs in California and Kentucky. The actress spent her first 13 years shuttling between the two states and attended 12 different schools, often living in poverty in remote areas of Kentucky. With no external sources of entertainment, Judd read books and amused herself by pretending to be various characters while her sister and mother whiled away the time singing. Their singing paid off; after Naomi and Wynonna Judd became country-music sensations, the family was finally able to leave their financial hardship in the past. Judd went on to attend the University of Kentucky, graduating Phi Beta Kappa in 1990 with a degree in French.

At her sister's encouragement, Judd, blessed with an outgoing, forthright nature, was able to secure an agent on her first try and, in 1987, won a part on the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation. She went on to do more TV, landing a recurring role as Swoosie Kurtz's daughter on Sisters in 1991 (she stayed with the show until 1994). The following year, she made her film debut with a small part in Kuffs (1992). She was originally meant to have a larger part, but rejected it when she learned of a nude scene.

The actress' first major film role was in the hit independent drama Ruby in Paradise (1993). She garnered considerable acclaim for her subtle, realistic portrayal of a spoiled Tennessee heiress who runs away to sell tourist trinkets in a ramshackle resort, winning Best Actress at the 1994 Independent Spirit Awards. After filming Oliver Stone's Natural Born Killers, only to have her scenes end up on the cutting-room floor, Judd next found acclaim with her turn in the 1995 film Smoke, in which she played the pregnant, drug-addicted daughter of Harvey Keitel and Stockard Channing. The same year, she appeared in the much-lauded Heat, then went on to star with Mira Sorvino in the 1996 made-for-TV Marilyn Monroe biopic Norma Jean and Marilyn.

Following a substantial role as Matthew McConaughey's wife in Joel Schumacher's adaptation of John Grisham's A Time to Kill in 1996, and a lead in the crime film A Normal Life (also 1996), Judd starred in the 1997 thriller Kiss the Girls. The film received mixed reviews but did decent business at the box office, further increasing Judd's glowing star wattage. She landed another lead role the following year, in the well-received drama Simon Birch and, in 1999, could be seen starring in Bruce Beresford's Double Jeopardy as an ex-convict planning revenge on those who framed her for a crime she did not commit. The film was a substantial box-office hit, further cementing Judd's arrival as a major Hollywood star.

Switching gears in 2000, Judd starred as a friend and mentor to a pregnant 17-year-old (Natalie Portman) in Where the Heart Is. This was followed by the 2001 romantic-comedy Someone Like You and 2002's High Crimes, which saw Judd reteamed with Kiss the Girls costar Morgan Freeman. While High Crimes failed to make much money, that same year Judd scored at the box-office with The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood and wowed critics with a supporting role in the Academy Award nominated Frida.

Judd didn't turn up again until 2004's Twisted, a crime thriller about a female homicide detective who finds herself at the center of a series of murders. Next up, Judd starred alongside Kevin Kline in De-Lovely, a musical biography of Cole Porter.


Ashley Judd Definitely Has March Madness

March Madness has led Ashley Judd to a new role guest newspaper columnist.

The 36-year-old actress and rabid University of Kentucky fan is writing a column for the Lexington Herald-Leader in Lexington, Ky., during the NCAA tournament.

Judd, who attended UK, frequently attends the school's basketball games.
"She knows the game," Mike Johnson, deputy managing editor of the Herald-Leader, told The Associated Press on Thursday. "Everybody knows or understands that she's a big Kentucky fan. She often comes to Lexington for games. It's not unusual for her to attend the NCAA tournament games."

Judd's first story appeared Thursday, while she was in South Africa visiting Nelson Mandela. (The Wildcats survived a scare Thursday afternoon from Eastern Kentucky University, winning 72-64.)

Of UK's chances of winning the tournament, Judd wrote: "I am an optimist, however, and I always believe," then listed the keys to the Wildcats' play to "take us out of the first round and on to the round of 16. By then, I will be back from praying a blessing on Mandela's noble head to watch my Cats."

If Kentucky keeps winning, the Herald-Leader hopes Judd will contribute a column each day the team plays. In place of payment, the newspaper will make a contribution to a charity of her choice.

Judd's screen credits include "A Time to Kill," "Double Jeopardy" and 2004's "De-Lovely."

Ashley Judd: "De-Lovely"

Ashley Judd is not one to care about the media's perception of her image. Arriving close to an hour late for her scheduled round of her interviews promoting her role in musical biopic De-Lovely, Judd is unapologetic, and having told a previous group of reporters that she had been bathing her dogs. As we begin, Judd is confronted by a large piece of chocolate cake, ready to eagerly devour far more enthusiastically than answering reporters' questions. "I bake so much at home, so I try to eat junk every other day. It's kinda my thing." Judd begins our interview somewhat defensively when it is suggested that the role of Linda Porter in De-Lovely, is such a far cry from the more woman-in-danger character we have seen her play far too often. Judd is clearly snappy by that initial line of questioning. "It's a little irritating, in a weird way, that they're the movies that people pay the most attention too, while no one ever asks me about Someone Like You which I think I worked really hard in, even though it didn't turn out exactly the way we thought it would. I'm certainly very proud of what I did as well as Where the Heart Is and all that stuff, so I think there's actually a really balanced mix there."

Yet whether she likes it or not, the movie business remains one of perception, and the commercial thrillers in which she starred maintained her relatively high profile. With that in mind, there is an assumption that Judd needed to have fought to play Linda Porter, a complex, evolving character, but Judd says there was no fighting involved. "I didn't have to fight for it but was fortunate in that the director liked me for it after I met him. It was a very pleasant experience because it was already well under way so I didn't have to wait all that long before it started. They'd already talked to Mr Armani about the clothes and had all their locations settled, so it was really nice. I just kind of came in and everything was prepared and off we went," she said smilingly.

Judd says she was always a fan of Cole Porter, and his music era in general. "I like all the music of the 'American Songbook', as I call it, and I'm a big fan of the jazz age in general, so any artefact of that era is interesting to me." Judd says that she would have been more than happy growing up throughout the Porter era. "That whole lack of underclothing thing would have worked well for me, you know, busting out of x number of centuries of clothes. You just think about Little Women and how the mother lets her children run and the whole reason women used to faint at dances and stuff was because they were so corseted they couldn't breathe deeply enough into their lungs. It's so preposterous."

In this day and age of special effects and comic strips-turned-movies, Judd says there is a lesson to be drawn seeing De-Lovely. "That melody is a dying art and that this music is an incredibly important part of our collective cultural consciousness. Also, it's not just about meeting someone, being attracted and having hot monogamous sex for the rest of your life, but it's about stuff that's a lot more subtle and very powerful."

Judd says that she also found it easy to identify with Linda Porter without being overly specific. "Something that I've not found elsewhere, in a screen play or in a book, is that I've had the privilege of being close to a lot of really talented people, either being at the knee of or rubbing elbows with, or marrying someone who had an exceedingly special and very rare kind of talent and I just loved that about it. It's a very comfortable place for me to be," Judd admits.

That comfort zone she refers to is further exemplified through her marriage to racing car driver Dario Franchitti. The couple essentially calls Scotland home, and Judd says she had no problems making that decision. "Whether thou goest, I shall follow," is Judd's response. Ferociously guarded about her privacy, the actress won't divulge in which part of Scotland they live. "I can't actually talk about where we live. It's bad enough over there that if I say one thing, however general, it is extrapolated and reporters show up at my mother and father-in-law's," she says, with vehement bitterness, claiming the Scottish media overreacts to the couple. "I think the problem with the media there, in addition to everyone being consumed by this unfortunate modern crisis of excess interest in public people's private lives, is that there are so many newspapers, and they're all dailies so all the tabloids that we have that operate on a weekly basis operate there on a daily basis, plus there are three or four times the number, so they just need a lot of stuff to fill their shit sheets." Judd becomes more visibly annoyed when asked about her worst paparazzi experience. "I don't even want to talk about it because I don't want to give that any energy. I don't read it, listen to it, nor do I let other people talk about it in front of me, and I just don't want to, so forget it."

Judd, who was also seen in the critically maligned thriller Twisted earlier this year, is more than happy spending her non-acting days either in Tennessee, or more importantly, with her husband in Scotland, emphasising her need of her own personal reality which is not Hollywood. "We live in Tennessee which is great and I just like being there because it's where my husband's from. "I'm one of those people who have really taken on what's important to her partner, I'm happy for him, and can see him, come alive in a different way. There, he just so enjoys running into people that he has known all his life, which just means the world to him, plus it's a very beautiful and interesting place."

That ethic means Judd has become more selective in the roles that she takes on. "I'm not interested in working a lot, and one of those people who has to chronically work for work's sake." Judd even turned down the lead role in Catwoman to play another type of cat: Maggie in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof on Broadway. The actress makes it clear there was no other reason for not doing that high profile film. "I was attached to the material for a while and it was just one of those coincidences that Beau Kenright, who produced Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, had booked a theatre on Broadway, very far in advance, as one must. Then the scripts came together and Warner Brothers was so excited that they could finally confidently green-light a movie with the right script and the right director and it was a conflict. There was a slight overlap of the dates, but, I didn't sweat it. I wanted to do that play and knew it required a lot of preparation, I had to get to New York quite early for our first preview, so it was a no-brainer."

As selective as she is these days, Judd says that is still itching to do something. "My agent is very happy, as I'm finally reading scripts again because I did the play for so long I just didn't really need to read, I wasn't looking for a job for ages and I've read a few things that I like and I'm consistent. The ones I like I'm just holding close to me now and I don't want to read anything else."


Ashley Judd: High Crimes Interview

Beautiful and elegant, Ashley Judd is sporting a large diamond ring, symbol of her recent marriage to racing car driver Dario Franchitti in a fairy tale ceremony in Scotland at Skibo Castle in Edinburgh, the same castle that hosted Madonna's wedding to Guy Ritchie a year earlier. Judd is cautious about revealing more about the affair and reticent to discuss her private life. "Both my husband and I give a lot of ourselves in what we do because that is our public lives; but in my private life, I have an intrinsic right to be left alone," Judd insists with a light smile. Judd further adds that she is still trying to discover where the line goes between public and private. "It's hard but I try to do it," she said. "The right question is, do I get irritated while I try to retain my privacy? I have a picture from the film festival at Deauville, where ‘Kiss the Girls' was premiering in Europe, and there's this phalanx of photographers in a circle and I'm standing there, and I wrote, ‘Abandon all ye who have hope who enter here.' I have a responsibility to nurture and shepherd my talent and when I'm living the parts of my life not related to that I feel I have the right to be left alone. Her sister Wynonna disagrees with her. "She said that lack of privacy comes with the whole kit and caboodle and it's not open to negotiation." To further exemplify her point, Judd recalls an incident which turned her right off the whole celebrity thing. "If I'm in the toilet in an airport bathroom I don't think it's appropriate to slide a pad and pencil under the stall. If I'm in Spago and having a hysterical time with girlfriends, and if I'm with Gloria Steinem, I don't think it's appropriate to have a script pitched to me - to be told if I don't do this my whole career will be wasted. There is a boundary between public and private."

However, Judd does reluctantly elaborate on some aspects of her wedding while denying other media accounts of the affair. "Dario wore a beautiful tartan to our wedding and Armani made my dress. Everything else I've read is inaccurate," including the rumours of 300 celebrity guests that were apparently flown in from all over the world, and the $3-million cost, not to mention the last-minute change of venue from Quaint Croick Church. "We chose Skibo Castle because it's a private club to which we belong and because Dario is Scottish." She won't elaborate on the carats of her stunning ring, except to say that it is "an antique stone in a specially designed setting. My husband organized everything. The setting is called a cushion and it makes the stone look bigger than it actually is," she modestly adds.

Her private life is on track, as is her professional life, with a movie career that is humming along quite nicely, thank you very much. In her latest, High Crimes, Judd is in familiar territory, so it appears on the surface, in distress yet again, re-teaming with her ‘Kiss the Girls' co-star Morgan Freeman. This time around, Judd plays high-powered San Francisco lawyer Claire Kubik who is married to a sweet woodworker (Jim Caviezel) and living in a dreamy home in the woods. However, life takes a nasty turn when her husband is arrested and tried - by the military - for alleged murders of women and children in a clandestine South American operation. Claire sets off to defend her husband as his civilian lawyer. To research the role, Judd sought the real-life equivalent of her character.

"I hooked up with a woman in the Bay Area [San Francisco] who was definitely on the fast track and had her firm by the tail," she said. "It was important for me to know this type of woman exists; I'm not really around people like that. She was genuine and very earnest, which I like. Intensity smacks to me of something slightly off-kilter but her earnestness was very sweet." One of the major criticisms of the film is regarding the likelihood of a civilian serving on a military court-martial, but Judd defends that facet of the film. "We had an impeccable adviser who was there; everything you see in the courtroom scenes is legit."

The 34-year old star, whose earlier credits include the low-budget Ruby in Paradise and Smoke, has recently forged a career in which she has played a plethora of strong women in extraordinary circumstances. They include characters in such films as Bruce Beresford's "Double Jeopardy,", and "Kiss the Girls," in which she is a serial killer's object of desire. She also has played a possible serial killer in "Eye of the Beholder" with Ewan McGregor and starred opposite Hugh Jackman in the romantic comedy "Someone Like You." Asked to discuss a possible correlation to the women she's played, Ashley is rather dismissive of the notion. "It's interesting. In Jodie Foster's Premiere Magazine article, (she) knew the links between the various characters she has played, what links them thematically. People say that to me and I think what unites all my characters is that they are hurt; it's most accurate to say I play characters that are hurt but are responding to their environment."

Judd is having the time of her life and remains careful to balance her work and marriage. On the delicately asked question of children, Judd coyly remarks that "it's for God to know and for us to find out. You also add to that the fact you can never take anything for granted." As for whether or not she is likely to join her husband's racing car crew any time soon, that's not necessarily on her immediate horizon. "I can't change a tire, but I can keep the crew entertained while THEY change the tires."

What finally remains important at present is enjoying all that is right with her life. "It's so wrong to yearn so much, that you miss the joy of what you're living. That's definitely something I've learned and am willing to share." At the same time, the beautiful actress is not giving too much away.

More fun stuff about Ashley Judd

Birth name: Ashley Tyler Ciminella

Height 5' 7" (1.70 m)

Spouse: Dario Franchitti (12 December 2001 - present)

Turned down a larger role in Kuffs (1992) because she was asked to do nude scenes. She responded, "My mother worked too hard for me to take my clothes off in my first movie."

She once worked cleaning her mom's and sister's tour bus for $10 a day.

Hobbies: running, rock climbing, mountain hiking.

Graduated from the University of Kentucky. She majored in French [1998]

Mother and sister are country singers Naomi Judd & Wynonna Judd.

Her father, Michael Ciminella, a marketing specialist in the horseracing industry, divorced Naomi Judd in 1972.

Was named one of "The 50 Most Beautful People In The World" by People Magazine. [1996]

Attended the University of Kentucky. Known to be a avid fan of UK basketball.

Dated Robert De Niro

Dated Matthew McConaughey

Her mother, Naomi Judd, has publicly objected to many of Ashley's movies because they contain either sex or violence.

Attended 12 schools in 13 years.

Was named after Ashland, Kentucky.

Replaced Jodie Foster for the lead in Double Jeopardy (1999).

Is fluent in French.

Could have had Pamela Anderson's role on "Home Improvement" (1991), but wanted to concentrate on making it in the movies instead. She later starred in Where the Heart Is (2000), which was directed by Matt Williams, the producer who wanted her on the sitcom.

She had a role in Oliver Stone's Natural Born Killers (1994), but it was left on the cutting room floor.

Dated Michael Bolton.

Fractured her right ankle when she was thrown from a horse's saddle in Franklin, Tennessee. She was hospitalized for two days. [23 November 1993]

Named one of the "25 Most Intriguing People" by People magazine. [1999]

{2000) Voted one of the "50 Most Beautiful People in the World" by People Magazine.

A self-proclaimed feminist

She is an etymologist

Was named one of the 50 Most Beautiful People by People Magazine in 2002.

Ranked #20 in FHM Magazine's 100 "Sexiest Women in the World." (2002)

Worked as a waitress while attending acting school.

She is a sister of Kappa Kappa Gamma.

Measurements: 34B-24-35 (Source: Celebrity Sleuth magazine)

She was Kappa Kappa Gamma at the University of Kentucky

Modeled her "This is What a Feminist Looks Like" t-shirt for the Ms. Foundation and Ms. Online (ms.magazine.com), as have Whoopi Goldberg, Camryn Manheim and Margaret Cho.

Bakes chocolate chip cookies as a means to relieve stress.

Turned down the role of Catwoman in Catwoman (2004) so she could star as Maggie in 'Tennesse Williams' ' "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" on Broadway.

Models a Hello Kitty t-shirt with the words "Handle with Care" printed on the front. Proceeds go to the Youth Aids Foundation. (2003)

Her first screen kiss was with Wil Wheaton on "Star Trek: The Next Generation" (1987).

Introduced Gloria Steinem at the March for Women's Lives in Washington, D.C. on April 25, 2004.

Shares a birthday with Kate Hudson.

Drove from Memphis to L.A. at the age of 22 to begin her rise to fame.

Ashley was able to play both a teenager and a thirty year old in the role of Vivian 'Vivi' Walker. (The Divine Secrets of the Ya- Ya Sisterhood)

Was listed as a potential nominee on the 2005 Razzie Award nominating ballot. (Her name was misspelled on the ballot as "Ashey Judd" by the way.) She was suggested in the Worst Actress category for her performance in the film Twisted (2004), she did not receive a nomination however.

Her Salary:
Someone Like You... (2001) $4,000,000
Eye of the Beholder (1999) $1,000,000
Kiss the Girls (1997) $450,000

In November 2004, she is the global ambassor for YouthAIDS, an international health initiative to raise awareness and combat the spread of H.I.V./AIDS.

Bullock, Judd had rejected Oscar-winning role

Sandra Bullock and Ashley Judd had reportedly rejected the lead role in "Million Dollar Baby" before it was offered to Hillary Swank. Swank, who won the best actress award in the 77th Oscars for her tragic role as a female boxer in "Million Dollar Baby" was only the third choice for producer Albert S. Ruddy, reported the New York Post.

Ruddy first approached the "Speed" actress Bullock, who turned down the plum part when she was told she could not pick the director, and then "Twisted" star Judd, who demanded too high a salary. After Ruddy finally settled on Swank, Bullock's agent reportedly called him and said she would do the picture after all. But the producer said "Too late".

Ashley Judd: 'De-Lovely'

Reaction by the critics to the new Cole Porter biography/musical De-Lovely resembles the title to one of Porter's best-loved shows -- Anything Goes. Ty Burr in the Boston Globe observes that while the thought of Porter's music being sung by the likes of Elvis Costello and Sheryl Crow "sounds like a hideous idea," the movie actually "turns out to be thoughtful, creative, and generally worthy of its subject, with sins that are more of ambition and miscalculation than of execution." Roger Ebert in the Chicago Sun-Times awards the film 3 1/2 stars and praises the performances of Kevin Kline as Porter and Ashley Judd as his wife, Linda Lee. Kline he says, "is ideally cast ... elegant, witty, always onstage, brave in the face of society and his own pain." As for Judd, he remarks, "Who might have known [she] would be so nuanced as Linda Lee?" Jack Mathews in the New York Daily News expresses some minor reservations about the film, but then remarks that overall, "De-Lovely has much de-loveliness about it. There are terrific performances from Kline and Judd, some breathtaking staging and production design, and, of course, some of the best music and lyrics of the 20th century." But Stephen Holden writes in the New York Times that the film is "lifeless and drained of genuine joie de vivre" and while he writes that Kline "can surmount any disaster," Judd, he contends, "Is clueless as to style. She seems to imagine that tilting her chin up to snob level, narrowing her eyes and maintaining precise elocution is all it takes to evoke class." Megan Lehmann in the New York Post writes that "after a fizzy beginning, De-Lovely withers and wanes, becoming a listless trudge through a life -- and ultimately doing an injustice to a complex man and his enchanting, immortal songbook." John Anderson in Newsday calls it a "De-bacle;" Manohla Dargis in the Los Angeles Times,"de-lousy;" and Rick Groen in the Toronto Globe and Mail says that it "isn't d'awful, but it's pretty damn close. ... better than a root canal, marginally superior to Gigli, but bad enough."

Judd Lands Estee Lauder Contract

Double Jeopardy star Ashley Judd has landed a lucrative cosmetics deal with beauty giant Estee Lauder. According to American website Pagesix.Com, the stunning Californian is set to be announced as the spokesmodel of Lauder's latest brand American Beauty today. Estee Lauder is one of the biggest cosmetics and fragrance giants in the world and owns the Clinique, Aramis, Mac, Tommy Hilfiger and Donna Karan beauty lines.

Williams Astounds in Movie Debut

Pop hunk Robbie Williams is poised for a Hollywood movie career - after amazing famed movie producer Irwin Winkler with his acting talents in the eagerly awaited biopic De-Lovely. The 30-year-old Brit starred alongside Hollywood icons Ashley Judd and Kevin Kline in the new movie and impressed the Oscar-winning producer so much he is now determined to turn Williams into a movie star. Winkler excitedly explains, "He was so successful in this movie that when we do the TV slots to promote the film, we're using scenes of him singing De-Lovely. He's really great. I picked him up for the film because I had seen a TV special and knew he could do it." The Shipping News producer was concerned about the "Millennium" singer's tattoos but was delighted by his smart appearance in a tuxedo and is desperate to give him the starring role in a big-screen musical he's planning.

Ashley Judd Interview - "Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood"

Ashley Judd was a fan of Rebecca Wells' novel, "Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood" since she read the book when it was first published. Judd immediately saw in 'Vivi' a character she'd enjoy playing. "I could easily imagine being Vivi, I so identified with the character," said Judd. She jumped at the chance to play the role as soon as it was offered. "It was a great opportunity for me to portray a character whose development follows a realistic arc."

"She's definitely a survivor," Judd continues. "Vivi is a force of nature - full of life, energy and potential. Due to a series of tragedies she experiences as a young girl, some of that passion gets drained out of her. She's able to survive because of her friends - the Ya-Yas."

Three actresses play the role of 'Vivi' during different stages of her life. Writer/director Callie Khouri believes all three completely captured the character and said of Ashley Judd's portrayal, "Vivi definitely has passion and that can work negatively as well as positively. In those moments when Vivi is kicking up her heels, Ashley is radiant and you really feel that she's having fun. It's pure joy. Then in the darker moments, Ashley leaves no doubt about the abject desperation Vivi feels. It's a beautifully nuanced performance.”


Could you see yourself growing up to be Ellen Burstyn?
Wouldn't that be heavenly? She is so beautiful, too. She's neat. I like her very much.

Do you two have anything in common?
I don't think I am nearly as cool as she is. She's also very serene. It's almost like when they talk about The Buddha, in terms of being alert and curious and soft all at the same time.

You don't you see yourself like that?
I can be like that. I'm just a little in awe of her.

Has your mom seen this yet?
No. She's gonna die! Everyone should take their moms to see this. [Mine] is gonna love it. The other day they sent me some clips to approve. She got this extremely accusatory tone in her voice: "Ashley, what is that?" I'm like, "It's my work, mom." And she goes, "Is that the movie? Is that the video? Are you not showing it to me?" She's dying to see it so much.

Part of the reason this movie strikes home is because we all have mother issues. Did you have a time when you had some things to work out?
As you said, everybody has issues with their mother.

Was your mom strict?
She tried grounding me. She tried everything. She tried to invoke the presence of unseen others. She's this solitary person standing there saying, "Everyone thinks you're blah, blah, blah." Like, "Ma, you have a frog in your pocket?"

Did you enjoy playing the happier times with this character more than the angry times?
That's the wonderfully perverse joy of acting. The sad stuff is the funniest. It's exciting and very challenging and rewarding. I was kind of speculating earlier that joy is great to play, but in order to be really profound, and enduring, how epic does it have to be...? Like what? You hear Beethoven's 9th Symphony in person the first night he conducts it himself? What can you have that is so earth shattering like that that it sticks with you your whole life? There's something so cathartic and transitory about doing the sad stuff. Maybe it's a little sweet spot with me because I am confident about taking it on and I enjoy it.

Do you have girlfriends who are like the Ya-Yas?
My best girlfriend from when I was itty bitty. We met when we weren't even a year old. We were months. And my best girlfriend from college. Although talking about all this girlfriend business really makes me want to look up Beth Inman from the sixth grade because I loved that girl so much and I would like to talk to her again. She was lovely. She was so dear to me. She was such a great girlfriend.

How long has it been since you've talked to her?
We parted ways after junior high. I went to a different school, but I stayed with her mom and her a lot. She was such a cool friend. She let her Golden Retriever lick her on the mouth before I had a dog and understood.

Are there any other Ya-Ya types for you, besides those two?
Yeah, I picked up some real quality women along the way. They all know and like each other, which is extraordinary. To know that everyone has a friendship independent of the nucleus that you have provided is a huge blessing. I love that.

How hard was it to film the scenes where you beat your kids?
The kids were so great. It was so cold and as soon as they yelled cut, we were all huddling together and dunking our feet in hot water and drinking hot things and scurrying back and forth. The older boy, in particular, was such a capricious kid. He was like, “That was a really good one. I was so scared.” They were into it, really into it. They had been very well rehearsed and were extremely prepared for the day.

Did you do any fun girl stuff on the set?
We had a good time. I got there on a Friday and I went full tilt with my accent. I just did instant immersion - no going back. I felt so conspicuous because it sounded clangy to my ear at first.

We went out and had a nice supper as a group and just immediately hit it off and just started carrying on. We didn't let up until we left. We had some good gag takes. It was so special. The moments when Cherry [Jones] was there were so great. I don't go out after work. Morgan says I'm too professional and the reality is I'm just too tired. We'd go and have something to eat late night and Cherry, being a woman of the theater, has a tendency to smoke and I don't smoke but I would hold a cigarette just because I wanted to be like her, and look at her, and talk about the theater.

Were Ellen and the older actresses around when you were?
No, we overlapped by about 4 days because they came in to do some of their preparations and fittings and tests.

Did you contact Ellen Burstyn when you found out you were playing the younger version of her character?
Yes, we visited. It was really special for me because she has so much integrity and she does what she does. She's just honorable about it. She doesn't make it glamorous or act coy. She doesn't pretend like she is somebody slumming to care about her characters. She is a very inside out actress in how she works. She's very honest and candid about it.

Did you try to pick up on her mannerisms?
We talked about a few things. Not that anyone will notice consciously - but we have a lot of similar physical expressions in the movie. I haven't seen the final cut. It's also in the way things get framed. Say we do something but it ends up being a close-up - but we know.

Can you talk a little about your role in "Frida?"
It's a small cameo. I went down to Mexico City as a favor. I was very proud to have been asked.

As a favor to whom?
To Salma [Hayek].

Could you see yourself going back to do more independent films?
Sure. It's all about the script and the director.

Why do you think you've become so mainstream?
I never had an overall plan, except to try to do work that was interesting and challenging to me. Maybe now is a good time. I've had some time off. I've gotten this little body of work together so it might be an appropriate moment to pause and say, "How do I become Ellen Burstyn...ala Ashley Judd?" But I'm pretty detached from the whole process.

Have you thought anymore about how you are going to approach "Catwoman?"
Yeah. One of the things I love about "Spider-Man" is that, for the genre, they made it very real. They played the emotion very genuinely. Even the news editor, who is the most campy, iconic cartoon figure... there was something really great and plausible about him. So it definitely reinforced the direction that we had been planning on taking "Catwoman" in all along, which is why we worked so hard on the script.

You're married to race car driver, Dario Franchitti. Are you able to just relax when you're sitting at the track?
It was a little harder at Indy because there were so many people and all the practices are open to the public. The first day I thought, "There are 300,000 people. I'm not going to sign a single autograph. I am just going to respectfully say to people, 'Look, if I sign for you, I have to sign for everybody else.'" I was so bitter by the end of the day and I felt so negative from saying "No. No. No." all day long that I went home and I had to have a word with myself. I said, "How am I going to make this better?" So I decided - let's try the reverse. I'll sign for every person who asks. So that's been working out better.

Are you slightly isolated at the track?
It's the way that particular race is. The track is open five days a week for three weeks. Everybody is around the garages - and I don't mind in the garages. But in the pit I just don't think it's appropriate, because there are people working. I don't come to where you work and bother you.

You're doing so much. How do you keep it all together?
It's an illusion. We wrapped "Ya-Ya" in May and I've been home since then. I did the "High Crimes" junket. I'm doing this junket. I went to Japan with Dario for his race and promoted "High Crimes" while we were in Japan together - and popped through London and Paris, which was very beautiful. I got to have a couple of days off.

You are so committed to your career. Do you factor in taking some time for a family?
It will happen when it happens, if it happens. It's for God to know and for us to find out. I don't think it's a subject about which to be presumptuous.

Injured Judd Steps Away from Broadway Play

Actress Ashley Judd has been force to leave the cast of Broadway show Cat On A Hot Tin Roof to have surgery on her injured foot. Judd tore a ligament after an awkward landing during a February 17 performance. The screen beauty, 35, briefly returned to work last week but doctors now say she must stay off the foot. Her last performance was on Sunday. Understudy Kelly McAndrew will continue the role until the show's 14 March closing.

Ashley Judd : 'Twisted'

Twisted, directed by Philip Kaufman (The Right Stuff, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Rising Sun, Quills) and starring Ashley Judd, Samuel L. Jackson and Andy Garcia, would seem to have a lot going for it. Alas, according to most critics, it comes up a twisted mess. Roger Ebert in the Chicago Sun-Times says that it "walks like a thriller and talks like a thriller, but it squawks like a turkey." Lou Lumenick in the New York Post writes that it "is so utterly devoid of suspense, energy or credibility it should have been shipped straight to the remainder bin at Blockbuster." Ty Burr in the Boston Globe confesses in the opening of his review that he has always had a secret crush on Ashley Judd. "I would happily pay cash money to watch Ashley Judd read hog reports. Which, coincidentally, is a reasonable description of Twisted." Steven Rea in the Philadelphia Inquirer offers another reasonable description of the movie: "It's a generic, high-end Hollywood whodunit with a school of red herrings swimming through a plot that has more holes than a gopher farm." Several critics wonder aloud how a director with such prestigious credits as Kaufman could end up directing a movie like this one. Glenn Whipp in the Los Angeles Daily News asks in a parenthetical note: "Is this what it has come to, Phil?"

Ashley Judd: The Show Must Go On

Actress Ashley Judd has defiantly opted to throw herself straight back into her New York play, despite being on crutches since injuring her foot during a performance on Tuesday. The actress suffered a bad fall partway through her Broadway performance in Cat On A Hot Tin Roof at New York's Music Box Theater and had to be replaced by understudy Kelly McAndrew. But Judd, who suffered a mid-foot sprain with torn ligaments, has refused to let the injury get the better of her. She has her foot regularly taped and iced and is using the help of physicians who specialize in working with dancers who perform through injury. She says, "I've been told not to put weight on it for six weeks or I'll have a lifetime of chronic pain, but I don't believe that stuff! The show must go on!" Judd's run in the show ends on March 14.

Ashley Judd Falls Off Her 'Tin Roof'

Actress Ashley Judd has been forced to take a break from her role in Cat On A Hot Tin Roof on Broadway, after injuring her foot during a show on Tuesday. The actress had to limp offstage halfway through the evening show at New York's Music Box Theater - to be replaced by understudy Kelly McAndrew. Judd's rep confirmed she had suffered "a mid foot sprain with torn ligaments" after "landing funny" during the second act - but rejected the suggestion McAndrew would take over the role until it closes next month: "She plans on returning but she doesn't know when."

Wynonna Judd Gets Community Service

Country singer Wynonna Judd will lose her driver's license for one year and has been ordered to perform 200 hours of community service after pleading guilty to drunken driving. Judd was charged last month after a city police officer stopped her speeding Land Rover in Nashville, Tennessee. Police said Judd registered a blood alcohol level of 0.175 per cent - more than twice the 0.08 per cent legal definition of drunken driving in the American state. Yesterday, General Sessions Judge John Brown gave Judd the choice of 48 hours in jail or the community service. Judd chose community service. She received an 11-month, 29-day suspended sentence, during which time she will be on probation. Wynonna, 39-year-old sister of actress Ashley Judd, must also pay $1,000 in court costs and fines. After her arrest, Wynonna said in a written statement that she had been celebrating her impending wedding and a friend's birthday "and clearly let my excitement get the best of me". Judd has since married longtime bodyguard D.R. Roach.

Ashley Judd's Catwoman Regret

Hollywood actress Ashley Judd bitterly regrets turning down the part of Catwoman, a role that has now gone to Halle Berry. Sources say that Judd originally felt the role was "too immature" for her and decided to make the Broadway production of Cat On A Hot Tin Roof her next project instead. But now America's Star magazine quotes her moaning, "It was the stupidest thing I've done by far." The publication says that when Judd saw pictures of Berry in the sexy cat costume, she remarked, "That could have been me." Berry is currently filming Catwoman in Canada.

Judd Arrested

Country star Wynonna Judd was arrested Thursday after cops caught her speeding in Nashville, Tennessee. The singer was breathalysed on the spot and charged with driving under the influence after it was discovered she had more than twice the legal limit of alcohol in her system. Judd, whose actress sister Ashley Judd is currently starring on Broadway, New York, in Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, was released on bail. The singer, who had attended a friend's birthday party just before her arrest, has since released a statement. She says, "I know there is never a situation where drinking and driving is acceptable and I take full responsibility for my error in judgment."

Ashley Judd to Play Linda Lee Porter

Sexy actress Ashley Judd is set to portray legendary socialite Linda Lee Porter in a Cole Porter bio-pic starring Kevin Kline. In the movie De-Lovely, Judd will play Linda Lee, who was married to acclaimed composer Cole - even though he was gay. Linda Lee was a source of inspiration for such musical compositions as Anything Goes and Kiss Me Kate. After she died in 1954, her husband never wrote another song. The unusual love story will begin shooting in London from May 5, which gives the High Crimes beauty time to make the film and be back in America to begin rehearsals for her role as Maggie The Cat in the revival of Cat On A Hot Tin Roof.

Caviezel Refused To Get Naked With Ashley Judd

Staunchly Catholic Hollywood actor Jim Caviezel refused to strip off for a sex scene with beautiful actress Ashley Judd. The 33-year-old star threatened to walk out unless director Carl Franklin shot the scene for thriller High Crimes with both parties wearing clothes. He says, "I told Carl, 'It's no problem, I don't have to do this movie. Go ahead and find someone else.' I see our culture as not respecting people too much, treating people like objects. There are times where sex is appropriate, but I've yet to see butts and breasts act themselves out of a scene!" It's not the first time Caviezel has refused to get naked for scenes with beautiful co-stars. He refused to film a love scene with sexy Jennifer Lopez in Angel Eyes because she was topless and asked rising star Dagmara Domincyzk to cover her nipples while shooting The Count Of Monte Cristo. The married star says, "My acting stems from inside, from God. And that's the only way I can act. If I violate that, then I don't think I'd be around this business much longer."

Ashley Judd's Private Life

Ashley Judd has discovered a simple way to keep her marriage to race car ace Dario Franchitti private - she's refusing to talk about it. While promoting her new thriller, High Crimes, the 33-year-old actress - who wed the speed demon last December in a hush-hush ceremony - is giving the media precious few details about life in the Franchitti-Judd household. She says, "I enjoy being married. We feel very blessed and we're having a great time. My husband and I have very public spheres in which we participate and we feel like we give a lot of ourselves in those areas - he obviously on the race track and me in the movies. And there are things outside of that should be for us. We very much appreciate that people have helped respect our privacy. People have been really good to us." However, Judd admits that there have been a few isolated incidents involving overzealous fans, adding, "People coming up and knocking on the bus door on race weekend is not my favorite thing. That's where we live three days a week, 22 races a year. It's our home. It's not appropriate."

Ashley Judd Heads To Scotland

Hollywood beauty Ashley Judd is set for a new life in Scotland with her racing car driver boyfriend Dario Franchitti. Friends say the celebrity couple are busy house-hunting but have turned down a 200 acre coastal home in the east because the wind was too cold. Scot Dario hopes to make the move from the American Indy Car circuit to the Europe-based Formula One with the move to his homeland, while the Ashley wants her children to go to school there. The driver's best friend Jimmy Vasser says, "They've been looking for a suitable home in Scotland. Ashley loves it there and Dario is desperate to be a Formula One driver. It's the natural place for them to settle down. The home they were going to buy was on the coast and Ashley said the wind from the sea was too much for her, so they are now looking elsewhere." Judd wants to give her children a grounding in both their American and Scottish heritage and the pair will stage wedding ceremonies on both sides of the Atlantic.

Ashley Judd Forced To Wear Makeup By Mom

Ashley Judd gets told off by her mom Naomi if she leaves the house without any make-up on. The striking beauty admits her country-singing mom is not a fan of the natural look. She says, "She's always hated my natural look because she thinks all women should wear lots of make-up. So when I show up without any she moans and criticizes me." She continues, "My mother's into frilly dresses, frilly eyelashes and hairstyles from the 70s. I'm more contemporary. We always seem to argue about that. She wants me to be her clone. But I have to be an individual."

Ashley Judd Glad She Liked Dario Before Love

Ashley Judd is glad she became friends with her fiance Dario Francitti before she fell in love with him - because it means they will stay together longer. Ashley admits friendship is an important basis for her love affair. She says, "I think if you go the head over heels route, I wonder if you have as much to fall back on when things get a bit tough. It's nice to make a little bit of a choice and not be swept away." She adds, "You just go back to all those lovely elderly couples that have been together for so many years. Usually they're best friends. It all boils down to fundamental human issues of respect and kindness."

Ashley Judd Desperate For Scottish Marriage

Ashley Judd is desperate to marry in Scotland - but her country singer mother Naomi Judd wants her daughter to tie the knot in Tennessee. Judd has been engaged to Scottish racing car driver Dario Franchitti for 10 months and is planning to hold a huge celebrity ceremony in Franchitti's homeland. But her mother has other ideas and is trying to persuade her daughter to keep the nuptials in America. A source says, "Ashley's been laughing about it. She just knew her mom would stick her nose into it. While Ashley loves her mother, she learned a long time ago how to tune out when they disagree on an issue."

Ashley Judd Caught Out On Camera

Ashley Judd has discovered the dangers of computers after being caught out on camera on the set of her new film. Ashley's personal computer screen appears in a scene from her new movie Animal Husbandry (2001) - and what showed up on camera was a clearly written attack on the movie's script supervisor, slamming the script as "Awful". An embarrassed Judd quickly tried to make amends as soon as she discovered her error - the movie's director says she's taking the script supervisor out for drinks to try and smooth things over between them.

Ashley Judd Sends Sex Pics To Sister

Stunning actress Ashley Judd accidentally sent the wrong roll of film to her sister - of her and her boyfriend in a series of sexy snaps. The Double Jeopardy (1999) star thought she had sent WYNONA a film taken on a trip to Mexico with her fiance DARIO FRANCHITTO. But Wynona was shocked to see the racy pictures when she developed the film.

Ashley Judd To Wed

Hollywood actress Ashley Judd is to marry her auto-racing star boyfriend DARIO FRANCHITTI - and she's been secretly engaged since the start of the year. The beautiful Double Jeopardy (1999) star's country-singer mother Naomi Judd let the news slip in an interview on TV. She admitted the pair had got engaged in December and said the family were delighted at the news. No date has yet been set for the ceremony.

Fascinating Fact:

Ashley Judd won't eat meat because she believes you're eating the slaughtered animal's fear.



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