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The secret Catherine Zeta-Jones and her teenage daughter kept from Michael Douglas

Raechal Shewfelt
Editor, Yahoo Entertainment
Actress Catherine Zeta-Jones visits the Build Series in New York City. (Photo: Desiree Navarro/WireImage)

In some ways, it’s no different being the teenage daughter of Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas than of anyone else. For instance, Zeta-Jones told Yahoo that Carys, her 14-year-old daughter with the Fatal Attraction star, has been known to sneak short skirts by her famous dad.

“She does sometimes take a different skirt to school. I said to her once, ‘why aren’t you wearing that gorgeous little corduroy, vintage looking skirt?’” said Zeta-Jones, 48. “She goes, ‘I packed it, because dad’s taking me to the train station.’ You know the deal. Dad’s taking her to the train station. She’s got her leggings on and then, when she gets to her friend’s house, she whips on the little mini. And daddy’s none the wiser. I went, ‘I love you for that. I love you for that. Good call.’ The less they know, the better it is.”

The Chicago star noted that Carys really “has a good sense of style,” and “to her dad’s delight, doesn’t overdo the bod.” (the odd short skirt notwithstanding.)

Of course, there are perks, too — things Carys does get to do that women (and men) of any age would appreciate.

“My daughter can raid my closet anytime,” Zeta-Jones said. “I justify buying things for my closet because I have a girl. I don’t throw anything out. I have a daughter. Because my mother, who’s a wonderful designer and seamstress, used to make all those fantastic clothes from the ‘70s, maxi dresses, evening dresses, all my clothes — used to give them all away to her sisters. She had loads of sisters [and] friends. And I always said, ‘you know, Mom, when I have a daughter, if I have a daughter, I’m not throwing anything out,’ because you always want those great vintage things. So I justify my hoarding for my daughter.”

Nicole Kidman, Naomi Watts, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Carys Douglas mingle at the Michael Kors runway show during New York Fashion Week. (Photo” Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Michael Kors)

Zeta-Jones and Douglas also have a son, 17-year-old Dylan, and she gushed about the people that both are becoming.

“I know I’m a very proud, biased mom, but I’m very, very happy the way they’re turning out to be really good citizens of the planet. Good values, good morals,” she said. “They’ve got good BS detectors — good, really brilliant BS detectors. They see it coming. And they go to school — A students — and they’re just fun. I love teenagers. I’d have more teenagers, but then I’d have to go through the diapers, the preschool, the school. I mean, if I could just pop out teenagers, I would love it.”

The Oscar winner laughed. But in all seriousness, she credited her children’s savviness to their upbringing. The family spent part of the their childhood in Bermuda, where Douglas has family ties.

Catherine Zeta-Jones, Dylan Douglas, Carys Douglas, and Michael Douglas take a December 2017 trip to India. (Photo: Catherine Zeta-Jones via Instagram)

“Then I said to myself, ‘Uh-uh, this island’s too small. I need to take you to the big world now.’ You know, ‘wake up, kids. This is the way it is,’” she said. “And so they’re very street [smart], as well as I’ve protected them, and… they’re very savvy. They know the game. They know what it is. They’ve had to deal with stuff that other kids going to school didn’t have to deal with… and so, I’ve prepped them well for the big, bad world.”

In fact, both kids — the grandchildren of honorary Oscar recipient Kirk Douglas — are planning for careers in show business. And Zeta-Jones — whose acting credits stretch back nearly three decades — supports their career plans.

“A lot of people say to me, ‘how do you feel about that?’ and I say, ‘well, they’re good,” Zeta-Jones said. “I mean, I’d be the first to say, ‘we need to change direction,’ and kind of steer them towards another occupation, but they’re good. And they love the craft of acting. They respect it. They know what it takes. They know the odds. They know the issues of being the daughter of, the son of, the granddaughter of, the grandson of… but they have it in their belly. And once it’s in your belly, it’s hard to get out of it.”

Besides that, Zeta-Jones added, she’s had a good experience.

“I’ve had a wonderful career in this business, I really have, and so I can’t steer them away from something that’s been a true joy for me,” she said.

The actress said she is “absolutely” grateful for the Time’s Up movement for equality for women in Hollywood, but it doesn’t change her opinion.

“This is not an issue that is only showbiz — this goes on in the boardroom, it goes on in politics, ir goes on in the doctor’s office, it goes on in the subway,” Zeta-Jones said.

Instead, she’s encouraging them to learn the business side of the industry as well as their craft. She said they’ll need those skills to navigate a Hollywood that’s changed since their parents began working.

Michael Douglas walks the red carpet with son Dylan and daughter Carys at the premiere of “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” in December 2016. (Photo: Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)

“The fundamentals of creating have not [changed],” she said, “but the corporate world that’s around it, it’s different, and you have to understand it, because you can get really lost in it.”

Another perk of having Zeta-Jones and Douglas as parents: free master classes in filmmaking. Douglas, who’s also a producer, often shows cuts of film to the family, asking for feedback.

Zeta-Jones, for her part, offered an up-close look at role preparation as she played Griselda Blanco in the new Lifetime movie, Cocaine Godmother, based on the true story of a drug lord on the Miami cocaine scene.

“My kids have literally lived through Griselda,” Zeta-Jones said. “They’ve seen everything I could ever see about her visually. I talk about everything I read about her. They saw me working on my scenes, working on my accent, doing my homework on it. Griselda was kinda part of the family, unfortunately, for quite a long time.”

Cocaine Godmother premieres at Jan. 20 at 8 p.m. ET on Lifetime.

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