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Lily Sheen Pictures

Lily Sheen Pictures

New York, NY :: People reports, "While daughter Lily Sheen, 7, may thumb her nose at the idea, Kate Beckinsale gets a kick out of taking a New York City carriage ride – with her former beau and Lily‘s dad, Welsh actor Michael Sheen, on Tuesday."  Kate‘s upcoming rom-com Click co-starring Adam Sandler opens in theaters tomorrow. Kate’s Angeleno article after the jump; more pictures in the gallery of Kate leaving the Good Morning America studios in one smoking hot dress!

Kate Beckinsale

Angeleno Magazine June 2006

When director Len Wiseman brought home a screening copy of Underworld Evolution, his wife, actress Kate Beckinsale, refused to watch. "That’s the toughest thing about working together", Beckinsale explains, curled up in a wicker chair in the lobby of Casa Del Mar, a beachside hotel in Santa Monica. "After the premiere I can’t watch the movies for a decade".

"He looked a bit mournful, and I said ‘Look, have you ever seen me sit down and watch The Aviator?"-Martin Scorsese’s Howard Hughes biopic in which she won acclaim for her role as Ava Gardner. "And I certainly haven’t watched Van Helsing-the $160 million flop she toplined with Hugh Jackman. (She has however just passed the decade mark since her star making performance in John Schlesinger’s crazy Brit comedy Cold Comfort Farm.

Still, Beckinsale sensed her husband wasn’t satisfied. So, "I distracted him be being naked" she explains, her posh English accent pinwheeling with glee, "just wandering from one room to another, searching for underpants, and that sort of thing". A naughty smile stretches between the tumbles of hair that fall form a newsboy’s cap framing her face. "We’re still at that stage of marriage where that’s an event."

Kate Beckinsale, the 32 year old trilingual (French, Russian) Oxford educated daughter of the beloved English comedy star Richard Beckinsale (who died when she was six) and character actress Judy Loe, came to Hollywood in 2000 to star in Michael Bay’s Pearl Harbor opposite Ben Affleck and Josh Hartnett.Two years later she settled here with her new baby (Lily, born in 1999) and longtime boyfriend, actor Michael Sheen, who costars in the Underworld movies. Then, in 2003, life took an unexpected turn. She fell in love with Wiseman and left sheen, warming the cockles of a tabloid editors heart.

"I don’t know if you can find another actress in this town who’s slept with only two people in a decade" she declares, bemoaning the racy reputation that still occasionally dogs her. "Because I left a relationship, there’s a salacious quality to the story that really isn’t true." Then again, like almost any actress, Beckinsale has come to an uneasy peace with her own public image, of which she says, "I’, not that person. I sort of stand behind her sometimes at events. it’s very strange."

Beckinsale has an abiding fascination with the vagaries of fate and identity, which helps explain her enthusiasm for for her new movie, a comedy called Click-in which Adam Sandler stars as an overworked architect who finds a universal remote control that permits him to fast-forward, freeze, and rewind the events of his life. Beckinsale plays a character who ages from her early 30′s to late 50′s. prosthetics eased the transition, but also included a passing existential panic, "You have that moment of turning into your mother overnight", she laughs. "It gave me a slightly twitchy eye."

"Kate is an unlikely combination of girly-girl and tomboy," says Click director Frank Coraci. "On the one hand she can be really sweet, but then in true British form, she can be totally cheeky. We got a pink golf cart with white fluffy dice and decorated her trailer in froufrou girly stuff, which made her ecstatic. But then she was totally one of the guys. On a regular basis, we’d get the best sexual innuendos from her."

Beckinsale herself reserves her liveliest comments for her Click costars. "Everyone in the world wants to high five Adam Sandler. And he does it, endlessly, without even a trace of cynicism or burden. It’s extraordinary to watch." Then there’s Sean Astin, who tried to teach her to drive in his "great big SUV" in the Sony parking lot. "I feel like if he wanted to teach me how to remove my own appendix, I would just sit there, very calmly, trusting." As for Jennifer Coolidge, "You can see everything going on underneath her skin, and then she can make, like, 14 facial expressions in one sentence. There’s no going ‘Is that Jennifer Coolidge?’ She looks like herself: this beautiful, giant, inflatable, Statue of Liberty doll."

She offers an equally sharp anthropological assessment of the culture of young starlets: "I look at these girls now-Keira Knightley and Lindsay Lohan-and it’s terrifying. When I started in England, nobody knew what a publicist was. You turned up looking generally like shit. You’d done your own makeup. You’re 19, so it’s bound to be awful. I was running around Barney’s thinking, ‘I must find some shoes that match my pants!’ Or grabbing flowers off the breakfast tray and putting them in my hair saying, ‘does that look nice?’ before my first premiere at Cannes. That’s really truly what it was."

She claims that luck, not strength of character, saved her from the developmental celebrity cliche of clubbing-rehab-rinse-repeat. "I got pregnant completely by surprise very early on and immediately had a very different priority. It was so clear what was nonsense and what was bullshit and what wasn’t. I think in your every early 20′s, it must be very easy to lose thread on that. But I always had to be home for bedtime."

To be at home with Lily, Beckinsale also passed up plum roles in exotic locations. Instead she opted for work that helped her keep the regular hours and emotional focus demanded in the early years of motherhood: gun toting, latex-corset wearing movies like Underworld, and the occasional LA based indie flick such as Laurel Canyon.

However, now that her daughter "has suddenly hit the age where someone else can put her to bed at night sometimes and that’s OK," Beckinsale foresees the possibility of returning to headier and more eclectic fare. She just returned from Nova Scotia, where she played a waitress in a Chinese restaurant who meets with almost Sophoclean tragedy, in an independent film called Snow Angels, with Sam Rockwell, directed by David Gordon Green (Undertow, All the Real Girls). Later this year, she hopes to star in a play in London ("a classic comedy, I can’t say more") Screenwriting is also in the plan (as a teenager in England she won competitions for her fiction and poetry), and she wants "to do a kids’ movie that would make my daughter proud of me. She would really like it if I were a talking fish."

Beckinsale knows that her diverse, risky career choices are not the easiest path to superstardom. " Because I have been going a much more circuitous route of trying different things and keeping myself frightened and not getting comfortable, what I feel I’ve ended up with is a completely incoherent and warped public persona. I haven’t been pigeonholed, it’s a free for all. I’m a bimbo, or I’m a quirky, strange intellectual, or all of those strange things.

For Beckinsale though, that’s a good thing. A fear of being typecast is something she inherited from her father. "He was brilliant as a comedian, and he got very trapped," she says of his role as a sitcom star on such English classics as the slapstick prison comedy Porridge. "When he died he was so excited because he was working on a very dramatic movie with Stephen Frears, and it would have been, ‘Oh my God, Adam Sandler just won an Oscar!’ It would have been that. I was very aware of how much he felt he was a great artist, and I think that kind of made me go, ‘I just want to keep everything going, and see before I land somewhere and then I can’t get out."

Her voice drops and she leans forward. "It’s easier to get out if you haven’t landed yet. Do you know what I mean? If you keep popping from flower to flower, you’re not going to get associated with the big Daisy." She glances at the ocean and takes a stab at describing her own future. "At some point I will land somewhere. Maybe by then I’ll be the old lady in the Agatha Christie movies". she says. She pulls up the shoulder of her loose black tank top, which had fallen and exposed the lace of her bra at the very moment when the sexy young actress imagined herself old. She makes a little joke, with an infectious dash of hope: "Maybe I’ll be Angela Lansbury by the time that happens."

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