Director, Actress Have Palm Springs Ties in "Side Effects"

Soderbergh, Zeta-Jones help movie deliver tension-rich story



Jude Law and Catherine Zeta-Jones star in "Side Effects", which opens Friday (Feb. 8) at local theaters.

Open Road Films

Director Steven Soderbergh has a long-running history with Palm Springs: His innovative work has screened at Palm Springs International Film Festival and he’s also the mastermind behind an awaited Liberace biopic.

His latest effort partners him with Catherine Zeta-Jones – the wife of Michael Douglas, who will star as Liberace in HBO’s “Behind the Candelabra”.

In "Side Effects", Zeta-Jones portrays Dr. Victoria Siebert. She is contacted by colleague Dr. Jonathan Banks (Jude Law) to consult on a suicidal patient named Emily (Rooney Mara), who appears to have fallen victim to the jarring side effects of her psych meds. However, Dr. Banks soon discovers that his fellow psychiatrist has a duplicitous, vested interest in his work with their patient.

"Side Effects" marks Soderbergh’s return to the type of sexy, stylish noir that elevated him to super-status after his debut feature film "Sex, Lies and Videotape".

Zeta-Jones delivers a startling performance and credits the auteur with casting her in a light much different than some of her previous roles.

“I’m actually thrilled that Steven cast me as a doctor because I never went to college and I’ve always wanted an “M.D.” after my name,” she said. “So I think [he] just fulfilled my mother’s dream.”

In 2011, it was revealed that Zeta-Jones was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Although she was initially candid about her condition, she admits that her fellow countrymen have been notoriously tight-lipped about treating mental illness.

“There was this British stiff upper-lip where depression and psychotherapy were squashed,” she said. “But now it’s becoming this thing where people are speaking about it more publicly.”

The Welsh actress collaborated with Soderbergh twice before on the film "Traffic" (2000), which won four Academy Awards, and again on "Ocean’s Twelve" (2004). Success has been consistent throughout her years in Hollywood, but she still faces the challenges of any wife and mother.

“Career-wise, I love my job, but it takes a lot to leave my kids, leave my husband, leave my dogs,” she said. “But it’s a real treat to work with Steven. “

She’s also no stranger to Palm Springs: Zeta-Jones married into a Hollywood dynasty with deep roots in the area. When the Academy Award-winning actress was asked where she likes to spend her leisure time while in Palm Springs, one might expect to hear the name of a posh 5-star hotel or chic boutique. Instead, her answer is as surprising as the many plot twists in "Side Effects".

“At my brother-in-law’s house,” she joked.

"Side Effects" opens nationwide Feb. 8. Catch Catherine Zeta Jones when she appears on the 85th annual Academy Awards telecast honoring musicals and her work in "Chicago" on Feb. 24.

Add your comment:
Edit Module
Desert Guide
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Articles

Colony Palms Hotel Has New Owner, Upgrades to Come

Palisades Hospitality Group has purchased the Colony Palms Hotel in Palm Springs, and plans to make upgrades and enhancements to the historic property’s spa, guest rooms, restaurant and landscaping.

Everlasting Somers

The Palm Springs resident may qualify for Medicare and senior discounts at the movies, but describing Suzanne Somers as “old” is like saying all blondes are ditzy.

Where to Enjoy Fourth of July Weekend in Greater Palm Springs

Ready to color your weekend red, white, and blue? The Greater Palm Springs area offers a variety of events slated for the holiday weekend starting July 3.

Enjoy a Little Paradise At This Palm Springs Hotel

The Little Paradise Hotel is a newly refurbished, nine room, sleek, minimalist property nestled on the east side of Palm Springs.

Mr. Lyons Steakhouse Reimagines Iconic 1940s Lyons English Grille in Palm Springs

Executive Chef Chris Hora is ready to reign in the kitchen at the newly designed Mr. Lyons Steakhouse in Palm Springs.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Promotions + Contests

2014/15 Best of the Best

2014/15 Best of the Best

Palm Springs Life’s annual Best of the Best. Readers tell us who their choice is for the “Best of the Best” of the Coachella Valley in over 40 categories.
GuestLife Magical Monterey Bay Experience

GuestLife Magical Monterey Bay Experience

Romantic Palm Springs Getaway

Romantic Palm Springs Getaway

Experience the beauty, romance and excitement of the Palm Springs area when you enter to be the lucky winner of this romantic couples getaway
Cartoon Caption Contest

Cartoon Caption Contest

Each month, we provide a vintage 1950’s cartoon illustrated by Alice Rovinsky. You are invited to submit a caption or vote for your favorite caption.
Edit ModuleShow Tags