Michael Douglas has revealed the first thing he said to Catherine Zeta-Jones was, “I’m going be the father of your children”.
No introduction – just straight into it.
While quite abrupt, and maybe not an advisable opening line for anyone, something worked.
The couple this week have celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary. They shared the story of those first sparks via social media.
Douglas first set eyes on Zeta-Jones through a screen, in her role as Elena Montero in The Mask Of Zorro.
He was spellbound. A month later, he found himself at the Deauville American Film Festival in France. And who else should be there, but the Zorro cast.
Douglas asked his assistant to track her down and ask if she would so indulge him for a drink and dinner.
“I probably made a big mistake but I looked at her and said, ‘I just wanted to tell you, I’m going to be the father of your children,'” Douglas recalled of their meeting.
(It worked: Dylan Michael was born in 2000 and Carys Zeta in 2003.)
“And she looked at me and said, ‘I’ve heard a lot about you, I’ve heard a lot about you. I guess it’s all true. Goodnight!’
“I thought I had completely blown it but I’m happy to say, we made contact and the rest is history!”
They started dating in March 1999 and by November 2000, they were married.
Zeta-Jones posted a montage of her and her husband through the years, set to I Feel Good, by the godfather of soul James Brown.
“20 years ago today Michael and I were married!!” she wrote.
“What an amazing magical night that was! And 7304.85 days and nights on, I love you now as I did then. (except for the point 85 bit) Thank you for the love and laughter.”
Douglas told the press he was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2010 (later corrected to tongue cancer), and in 2013 made headlines when he revealed the disease could have been caused by oral sex.
The couple separated for a couple of months, but after that it was all smooth sailing.