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Leoni Online: The Articles — New Weekly

Starring in Jurassic Park III, Téa Leoni’s role was more athletic than she’d anticipated. “I was so stupid not to get into shape for this. I could have hit the gym a little bit – duh! I mean, let’s see, Téa, you’re doing a huge movie with dinosaurs, and you’re probably not going to be friends with them, so you’re going to be doing a lot of running… So I suffered for it. I was sore and it sucked.” She pauses. “But who can stand the gym? I’ve never met anybody, other than my husband (David Duchovny), who likes working out. They should have come up with a treadmill with a Spinosaurus behind it – breathing fire on you – then I would have got my five miles in!” Although Leoni doesn’t appear to be one who scares easily, she says, “My God, you have no idea. I can actually terrify myself. I can also tickle myself, which is another weird thing. But, as I have a very vivid, active, childish imagination, I can scare myself out of my mind.” Leoni’s role – opposite Sam Neill and William H. Macy – was not only physically gruelling, but emotionally gruelling as well. Playing a mother who is looking for her son on the island inhabited by dinosaurs, the actress says, “I’d be kidding myself if I thought I could have played a mother like this before I was one in real life. As a new mother, your number on nightmare is losing your child. I knew when I read this script that that we weren’t out there just to make another Jurassic Park joy-ride. We were out to make the best one yet.” Duchovny and their daughter Madelaine West (they just call her West) often visited her on the set, and Téa says her two-year-old wasn’t scared of her fearsome co-stars. “She never met Mister Spinosaurus, because it would have been too scary for her. But the dino-dung was scary, although it has nothing on what she used to put in her diapers,” she laughs. “Thankfully those days are over.” A cleanliness freak, she admit, “I can’t help it- I like cleaning. I’ve been cleaning up the garage, which is a Sen thing to do. If you haven’t done it, get in there because it’s amazing how it feels.” she advises. An unusual hobby for a celebrity, who can obviously afford to have her own cleaners. The actress also recently revealed an unusual way of passing the time with her husband. “I know that this will makes us sound insane, but a couple of weekends ago we spent the better part of it ass painting,” she roars, laughing. “I put the paint all over his backside, and he sits on the canvas. It’s pretty genius, actually. The we acution it for animal rights charities.” Despite their Hollywood status, Leoni swears she and Duchovny have settled into domestic bliss and hardly ever hang out with the A-list. “David and I don’t go to many premieres and things like that. We seem to get a pretty grand kick out of one another. We have an intimate groups of friends and are very tight with our families, so a lot of times we’re with my brother or his brother or sister. I don’t know. I don’t mean to sound dull or anything; I mean, we do crazy stuff, you know – we do.” Crazier than bum painting? “Maybe not. But you never know what could happen.” Leoni recently starred opposite Nicolas Cage in The Family Man, is soon to star with Al Pacino in People I Know, and has just wrapped Hollywood Ending with Woody Allen. “David and I try not to work at the same time, because of our daughter.” Daughter Madelaine is obviously the pride and joy of her doting parents. “She came out looking like David, which, in an infant, can be shocking,” Leoni laughs. “David had a good theory, which is that newborns look like their father so that the father will know that it’s theirs and not eat them.”

Experiencing the joys of motherhood, she says, “As a parent, you look at your child and wonder whether she looks like you, and what she’ll get from each of her parents. She has his cautiousness and a sense of humour that seems somewhat to be a little of both of ours. It’s frightening. A two-year-old with that kind of sense of humour,” she says. “But, more importantly, I really and truly hope she inherits my husband’s ass.”