After her great success co-starring with Morgan Freeman in 1997's KISS THE GIRLS, Ashley Judd has re-teamed with the Academy Award-nominated actor for her new thriller HIGH CRIMES. In the film, Judd plays an attorney whose husband (Jim Caviezel) has been framed - allegedly by the military - for murder, while Freeman is the ex-military attorney she enlists to help free her husband. Today, we continue our chat with the actress.
Judd's now over 10-year-old career started with a stint on the TV show SISTERS. But feeling accomplished and sure of herself isn't the hardest part of the job for Judd. Sometimes it's the unsolicited stuff that comes with the job that can be the toughest. Privacy is a big issue for Judd who last December married racecar driver Dario Franchitti under heavy security in Scotland where her husband is from. The couple shares homes in Tennessee and Scotland and Judd is very fervent on keeping anything else about their relationship private, a task that has not always been easy for Judd.
"It is a trade off but what I expect is that people will understand that both my husband and I give a lot of ourselves in what we do," explains Judd. "I don't take credit for my talent but I think I have a responsibility to nurture and shepherd it. I share it, but when I am living the parts of my life that are not directly related to that I feel like I have an intrinsic right to be left alone."
On one instance Judd says she and a girlfriend were out to dinner at Spagos and a woman pitched her a script while she was in the restroom. And on another occasion she was in a ladies room stall and she was asked for an autograph. Judd believes there is a time and place for everything and some people do cross the line.
"I think there is always a little negotiation to be had," says Judd. "I mean if I am on the toilet in an airport bathroom I don't think it is appropriate to slide a pen and paper under the door and ask for an autograph."
But, admits Judd, there are times when her fans make it almost impossible for her to say no, even in the most awkward of places.
"You see the crestfallen look on her face when you turn her down," says Judd. "And then she mentions in not a manipulative way 'Oh my mom is such a huge fan of yours.' You're like, 'How can I not sign that?'"
Even being in the business for the last decade hasn't made dealing with fame any easier for Judd. She is still trying to come to some sort of compromise when it comes to separating her personal life and the life she leads as an actress.
"I try very hard to be gracious," says Judd. "But what's even more important to me than even being gracious is being human and making that human connection."
And if career-wise the connection some may feel extends to each and every part she plays isn't something Judd necessarily disagrees with, she might take issue with what those similarities are.
"What unites all of them [the characters she portrays] is they are really hurt," says Judd, speaking of the roles she has done. "So I think it's more accurate to say that I play characters that are hurt and responding to their environment."
Pleased with both sides of her life, including the roles she has been given, she is not complaining. She is thrilled with what her life presently has to offer including a budding career and a happy marriage.
"These are the good times, I must say," smiles Judd.