The inside story on Catherine Zeta-Jones’ (@catherinezetajones) latest passion project and private life.

The truth is, Catherine Zeta-Jones is a home body. Sure, she’s drop-dead gorgeous. Of course she’s a consummate star best known as a high-kickin’ murderess in Chicago, swashbuckling swordswoman in two Zorro flicks and, recently, a Hollywood legend in the FX series Feud: Bette and Joan, and drug queenpin in the Lifetime telefilm Cocaine Godmother. But the Welsh beauty readily admits that she feels most fulfilled when she’s at home with hubby Michael Douglas and their two children, amid decor she has curated or designed herself. With the launch of Casa Zeta-Jones—a collection of sumptuous items for bed and bath—she now gives the rest of us a precious house gift.

Photography by John Russo, @johnrussophoto
Interview by Dawn McCoy, @iamdawnmccoy
Styling by Style by Zeta
Hair by Patrick Melville, @melvillenyc
Makeup by Vincent Oquendo, @makeupvincent
Edited by Bonnie Davidson

You left Hollywood for a while to start a family. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything? 
I don’t know that I ever left Hollywood. I guess I did when I went to Broadway and did an extended run of Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music [for which she won the 2010 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical]. It was fantastic to get back to my theater roots. Anything I’ve done workwise had to be something I really wanted to do in order for me to be away from my children. I can never get these years back and I am so grateful for all the time I’ve been able to spend with them.

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Casa Zeta-Jones is the ultimate in accessible luxury. What inspired you to create a home decor line? 
I’ve always loved interior design. It’s been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember. When I started my career, I would be on the road, traveling constantly, and would set up home wherever the tour took us. I’ve decorated all my homes and my friends are always asking for my advice about their homes. A home line was the next step. I wanted to create something that was accessible and affordable, yet still luxurious. The response to Casa Zeta-Jones has exceeded all our expectations. I am thrilled that people love it and make it part of their homes.

How involved are you with the line? 
I am completely involved with Casa Zeta-Jones, from the start to finish of each product. I choose all fabrics and accessories and work on all designs. I am involved in all the creative, marketing and packaging. Nothing gets by without me seeing it first.

When you have guests stay with you, how do you make their guest suite as cozy as possible?Lots of pillows and blankets, soft comfortable sheets, fresh flowers, candles, lush towels in the bath and their own bathrobe!

What was the best advice you ever received? 
My mother never leaves the house without her hair done and lipstick on, even if she’s going to the curb to get the mail. She would say “Put on some lipstick and do your hair, Cath. You never know who you’re going to meet.’ She still says it to me to this day! I’ve realized it isn’t about vanity, but really about taking pride in yourself and always putting your best self forward.

Looking back, when have you been at your most confident and comfortable?
Not to be cliché, but right now. I am the most comfortable and confident I’ve ever been. It’s the gift of age and experience, knowing what matters and what to let go.

Did you ever struggle with a weakness or insecurity that eventually became a strength?
When I was a child I developed a respiratory infection and had a tracheotomy. It left a scar on my throat that was and is very visible. I used to hate it when I was younger, but now I wear it as a badge of honor. Our scars are what make us warriors and survivors.

What have you learned from your husband and soulmate, Michael Douglas?
Never take each other for granted. Sometimes we are kinder to strangers than we are to those closest to us. Always be kind to each other.

Catherine shown with The Audrey faux fur throw from Casa Zeta-Jones

Have you learned anything from your children?
Be present and in the moment, the future will take care of itself.

Which women in Hollywood have inspired you most?
I’ve always loved Anne Bancroft. She was incredibly sexy and beautiful, but had no fear of being authentic when it came to a role. I love all of her films, particularly The Miracle WorkerThe GraduateTurning Point and 84 Charing Cross Road.  She had an amazing, multi-faceted career and left an astounding legacy.

What is your dream project?
The dream on any project is to work amongst creative, inspiring people—in front of the camera, behind the camera, in my studio, showroom and boardroom—who have absolutely no ego.

You are an icon of beauty and style.  From whom did you get your fashion sense?
My mother was a seamstress/dressmaker. She had flawless taste and could make anything. I’m from a small town in Wales, so we didn’t have large department stores and weren’t at the forefront of fashion. My mother could create a pattern by looking at a picture of a dress and add a sleeve from one look and bodice from another. I learned to sew from her. When I was a teenager, my party dresses were all originals by Patricia Jones!

Who are your style icons?
Mary Quant, Coco Chanel, Grace Kelly and Edith Head, the woman who dressed all the big actresses in her heyday and made them all style icons.

On top of creating and maintaining a luxury brand, you still find time to act. Tell us about Cocaine Godmother. What drew you to the role? 
I have always been fascinated by the story of Griselda Blanco. She was a ruthless, smart and complex woman. She was a major player in the drug world, in the Cocaine Cowboys era, and was a huge success (albeit illegal) in a man’s world.

What’s next for you? Where else can we can look forward to seeing you in 2018?
You’ll definitely be seeing more of Casa Zeta-Jones, as we are expanding the brand to incorporate more things for the home. I have a few very interesting projects I am developing with some really talented people. The future looks very bright!

How would you finish this sentence: Every day of my life, I am thankful for… ?
…my family.

Read more in the premiere issue of Gio on January 31, 2018