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Leoni Online: The Articles — Five Questions With Tea Leoni

NEW YORK (AP) – Tea Leoni is unabashedly happy. “It’s very scary to admit that your life is amazing to you, that it’s so fulfilling and so pristine and full of joy,” she says. Leoni has been married to actor David Duchovny for almost four years, and they are the (very) proud parents of 20-month-old Madeleine West. Leoni’s reinvigorated film career – she took a break during and after her pregnancy – includes roles in “The Family Man” and the upcoming “Jurassic Park III.” But like the main character in “The Family Man,” who questions choices he made, Leoni, 34, has thought about what her life would be like if she had taken a different path. In 1988, she was a student at Sarah Lawrence College. She was considering a career in law when someone challenged her to go to a “cattle call” audition for a remake of “Charlie’s Angels” for the Fox network. She got a part. This happened right before a writers’ strike killed the series, but Leoni said the experience – which paid for her move to California – quickly changed her career plans. “I do think on behalf of all the future (legal) clients that I don’t have, we’re all glad I didn’t walk that path,” she said.

1. Pregnancy and motherhood put your career on hold for a while. How did you spend your time away from the camera?

Leoni: I was really focused on the home, making sure my dogs would adjust to the baby. I wasn’t thinking about working at that point. I was enjoying my time off. My golf game improved dramatically when I was pregnant. Not only because I finally had the time, but also I had gained almost 60 pounds, and I’ll tell you, you can really smack that ball when you’re closing in on 200.

2. Do you think Madeleine West will go into acting?

Leoni: God willing, no. Parents willing, no. Parents having anything to do with it, no. I’d love it if she were a professional golfer. I’d love it if she were a doctor. That’s as far as I’ve gotten on the list of careers.

3. Why is acting good for you, but not your daughter?

Leoni: It is perfect for me because it is how I began to express what I think clearly is a creative yearning. … Had I had a voice or believed in my voice more, I think maybe I would have been a singer. Had I been more enthusiastically introduced to poetry, I might have been a poet. But I was dared to go out on an audition for `Charlie’s Angels.’ (laughs) I think the reason I wouldn’t wish it on her is that there is so much luck involved.

4. Will you and your husband work together?

Leoni: I don’t foresee us acting together – maybe on a lark in something small or silly, or more cameo-oriented. … But I really look forward to David directing me, and I hope for that. And I hope it’s something that he writes. But he’d sure have to watch his tone of voice. If he were to yell at me, I’d go lock myself in my trailer and not come out.

5. Do you like to see your movies?

Leoni: No, I sure don’t. My last attempt was at a screening for `Family Man,’ and I couldn’t even see the film. At that moment, all I could see were my teeth. I kept saying, `God, David, why didn’t you tell me my teeth are so weird? They should be filed down or something.’ … The truth is I was never interested in acting in order to see me. The fun for me is right there at the moment when you forget that there is a camera there.