Here's what Catherine Zeta-Jones' teen daughter found challenging about childhood

The actress and her 15-year-old daughter, Carys, opened up about their family life for Town & Country's September issue.
by Gina Vivinetto / / Source: TODAY

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Michael Douglas may be a huge Hollywood star and a two-time Oscar winner, but his 15-year-old daughter, Carys, once thought he made pancakes for a living.

Carys appears alongside her mom, actress Catherine Zeta-Jones, 48, on the cover of Town & Country's September issue, and inside the magazine, she revealed that during her idyllic childhood in sunny Bermuda, she had no idea her father was famous.

Catherine Zeta-Jones and daughter Carys on cover of Town and Country
Mom and daughter are on the cover of Town and Country's September issue.Town and Country

“I thought my dad was a pancake maker," Carys told the magazine. "I didn't know he was an actor. Honestly."

All that changed when the family traded their tropical paradise for Manhattan and were suddenly bombarded by paparazzi.

“I hated it,” Carys revealed. “I used to get really upset. They would jump on the subway and sit right in front of me. I was, like, 6. I was confused. That’s when I knew, ‘If this is going to be what it’s like, I need to focus on who I really am, and this is going to be something that’s just going to happen, and I can’t do anything about it.’”

Catherine Zeta-Jones and daughter Carys at Michael Kors Collection Spring 2018 Runway Show
Notice the family resemblance?Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty Images

Worse, she said, was seeing terrifying tabloid stories about her dad. The teen recalled walking into a drugstore several years ago and seeing a headline that said Douglas’ cancer, which had been in remission, had returned.

“There’s this picture of my dad and it’s like, 'Michael Douglas Cancer Again, Dying In a Month.' I just started crying. I was like, ‘Why didn’t my parents tell me this?!’ Only it wasn’t true. People just always want a story to tell,” she said.

Michael Douglas, Catherine Zeta-Jones and their children at "Ant-Man" premiere
Carys, seen here with her family in 2015, said she's heard remarks in the past about her father's age: “People would be like, ‘Your grandpa’s here to pick you up.’”Anthony Harvey / Getty Images

Carys also revealed that unlike some children of celebrities, she and her brother, Dylan, 17, have enjoyed a loving, if not strict, upbringing.

“My parents do a really good job of reality-checking me and being like, ‘Look around you. The life you have is extraordinary,’” she revealed.

Zeta-Jones agreed, adding that she and Douglas, 73, have done their best to instill values — and manners — in their kids.

“There’s nothing worse than a privileged kid without manners. I drilled it into them like boot camp,” said the actress, adding of Carys, “She knows she cannot roll her eyes at me, or huff and puff around me. I never did it to my mother, and she’s not doing it to me.”

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