Catherine Zeta-Jones is back in the game thanks to Lifetime and cocaine. OK, let’s be clear here: it’s due to a new Lifetime movie she stars in about an infamous female drug kingpin. Zeta-Jones says “Cocaine Godmother: The Griselda Blanco,” reignited her passion for acting during a panel at the Television Critics Association press tour on Sunday.
“I loved turning up to work every day and, I have to say, that’s not necessarily the case,” Zeta-Jones said. “For a few years there I lost my kind of mojo in what this was about, you know? I love being a mother. I love being a wife. I have a very nice career behind me. And what I was seeing for me to do and invest quality time — [“Cocaine Godmother”] is not like, ‘Hey Catherine, just chill out for a few days and we’ll pay you a fortune.’ I never work like that, you know? If I’m out and in it, I like to be really knee-deep in it and invest the time and energy and the creativity and enjoy it — really enjoy it to the full. And I wasn’t seeing anything that would even come close to me feeling like that.”
“And you kind of lose that kind of spark,” Zeta-Jones continued. “And when I say this [film] made me remember why when I was 9 years old I left home to go and do theater in London. And that feeling of joy and feeling that I’m home and this is what I love to do — I haven’t had that in years.”
“Cocaine Godmother” explores the complicated life of Griselda Blanco, who, at just 17, made her way to the U.S. with a fake passport with her first husband Carlos, according to the film’s official synopsis. Living in Queens with her three sons, Griselda became enticed by the money the drug world offered and quickly became embroiled with local drug runners. Griselda masterminded the use of beautiful women, the elderly and children as the mules and created false-bottom suitcases to smuggle cocaine from Colombia.
Zeta-Jones says it was important to her for Lifetime to not “sugar coat or rose tint” the character for viewers.
“It’s a fascinating story and so it just excites me,” she adds. “And I want to do more now. I want to surround myself with great actors who want to be there, who want to invest as much as me in it. And a director who just wants it all to work and a crew who go, ‘I like these people. I want to be part of this and really give it a 110 percent.'”
“Cocaine Godmother: The Griselda Blanco Story” premieres on Jan. 20 at 8/7 c on Lifetime.