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Catherine Zeta-Jones says 'it's in the cards' that her kids will get into acting

“The journey I’ve had as an actor has been extraordinary, so I can only encourage them to do what they love,” she tells TODAY.
/ Source: TODAY

Catherine Zeta-Jones says her children have set their eyes on going into the family business.

The “Chicago” star, who’s joined the Fox series “Prodigal Son,” has two kids with husband Michael Douglas, including son Dylan, 20, and daughter Carys, 17. She says they have expressed an interest in becoming actors, even though show business can be tough.

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“The journey I’ve had as an actor has been extraordinary, so I can only encourage them to do what they love. They’re both extremely bright and they’re both studying history and politics. And they get all their brains from me,” she said on the 3rd hour of TODAY on Tuesday, drawing laughs.

“But that said, Michael and I would be the first parents to say, ‘You know, maybe you should think of another career,’ but we’ve seen how passionate they are about the craft. They know what celebritydom is. They know the good, the bad, warts and all of that. But their passion is about acting as a craft and they’ve done every theater camp ... My kids went off to summer camp every year, to theater camp with all the Broadway kids, and held their own very, very well, I have to say.”

As successful as Zeta-Jones, 51, and Douglas, 76, have been in their careers — they have each won at least one Academy Award — she knows some pitfalls come with getting into acting, especially when your family is already established in show business.

She said she developed a passion while in her native Wales, but didn’t have parents who were in the field, whereas Douglas is part of an acting dynasty, which includes father Kirk and his mother, who also acted.

“He’s able to share with them what that means because I don’t know what that means. Michael’s experience was, it’s a hard act to follow when your dad’s Spartacus,” she said.

“And, in a way, one would think that there’s so many open doors for people to go into the same business as their parents, but, in fact, one has to really prove themself more, and it’s hard to be compared to.”

Zeta-Jones says despite the warnings, their kids remain focused.

“And so they’ve had that discussion and they’re still not deterred, so I just presume that it’s in the cards and I’m very excited to see whatever journey they happen to go on,” she said.

Douglas and Zeta-Jones celebrated their 20th anniversary last year, and time has certainly flown by as the kids are almost all grown up.

“I can’t believe I’ve been married 20 years. I can’t believe I have a son in college and my daughter goes to college next year, so we’re kind of empty nesters,” she said.

And while Zeta-Jones and Douglas have spent two decades married, there is another man who has captured her heart: TODAY’s own Al Roker!

She said she refers to him as “my boyfriend Al” and that Douglas has also gotten in on the act.

“When I first started living in New York and I was watching the show, he’d come into the living room. ‘What you doing, honey?’’ I’m going, ‘Watching my boyfriend Al,’” she said, as Al, Sheinelle Jones and Dylan Dreyer erupted in laughter.

“Every time we see Al on TV now, he goes, ‘Oh, there’s your boyfriend, Al.’”