Hits and Mrs.
[from Glamour Magazine, 9/99]
Courteney Cox talks about her fifth season on Friends, her third stab at the Scream movies and her new marriage. Can it get any better than this? You do the math.
Courteney Cox needs to have her head examined. No, it's not that the 35-year-old actress requires therapy to get over all the money she spent on her recent wedding to actor David Arquette, who happens to be eight years her junior. Nor is this Southern belle seeking professional help because she and her new husband are stressing about reprising their roles as Gale Weathers and Deputy Dewey in the upcoming spine-tingling horror fest "Scream 3."
No, these days Cox's foray into therapy is simply a smart career move. For the past few months, Cox has been impersonating a therapist for the feature "The Shrink Is In." In this romantic comedy, Cox portrays Samantha, a superphobic travel writer who is terrified to leave her house. When her therapist, played by Carol Kane, suffers a meltdown during a session and is literally carried off, Samantha is mistaken for her doctor and finds herself counseling patients (including Arquette). "This is the craziest, nuttiest movie, and I absolutely love it," confides Cox, who got her first big break in Bruce Springsteen's "Dancing in the Dark" video 15 years ago. "I, er, well, Samantha starts to believe that she really needs to be helping people."
Turns out, providing therapy to her friends and family comes naturally to Cox both on and off camera. "I am a fixer," says Cox, who before her gig on Friends was best know as Alex Keaton's girlfriend on the eighties series "Family Ties." "I hate any kind of conflict. On [the set of] Friends we're always acting like each other's therapists. Even the guys do it. I'm the one who wants everyone to get along. It's a control thing. I think it goes back to when my parents got divorced. I was 10 years old and I was away at summer camp and I came home and everything had changed, " explains Cox, the youngest of four in an affluent Birmingham, Alabama family. "I was like, Where is everybody? Everything felt out of control, so I became sort of a control freak because of that."
Let's see. Control freak? Has to know everyone else's business? That sounds so Monica Geller-esque. "There are parts of me that are similar to Monica," says the 5'5" brunette. "Especially these days. She seems to be coming out of her shell, and she seems to be having a lot more fun now that she's in this relationship with Chandler." Matthew Perry, who plays Chandler, her "maybe" husband on Friends, couldn't agree more. "Before last season, Monica and Chandler were definitely well written and funny," explains Perry. "But this year we've gotten to play a lot more emotion together. We're more rounded."
Perry has also a noticed a change in his costar since she fell in love with Arquette. "Here's the thing. Courteney used to be a good, solid dresser," says Perry with a laugh. "She was conservative. Then this guy shows up on the set, a very nice guy, but a guy who wears red-and-black suits that have wax on them. Slowly but surely, a year later, Courteney starts to dress like an alien astronaut."
Back in 1996, when Cox first met Arquette, he was the last guy she expected to wind up living happily ever after with. "We met at a party right before making Scream. There was this electricity between us, and I thought to myself, Wow! I found myself being really sarcastic, which is not at all like me, at least with guys. Usually I'm really shy, like if I'm watching a guy and he catches me, I pretend that I'm not looking. With David, though, I found myself being very Gale Weathers. I gave him attitude."
However, it wasn't until they were filming "Scream 2" together that things started to get serious. Cox attributes the slow growth to the fact that she was still recovering from her relationship with actor Michael Keaton. She also is the first to admit that she's not exactly the settling-down type. "I'm a Gemini," says the self-proclaimed roller coaster addict. "And I get bored so easily. I mean, I have moved six times in the last eight years. David's a Virgo and really likes stability. He's the calm one, but he's also so nutty, soooo sexy, and different from any man I've met."
Which is why, after two years of serious dating, they finally tied the knot last June in San Francisco. Surrounded by 250 family members and Friends (yes, Jennifer Aniston brought Brad Pitt), the couple exchanged traditional wedding vows and rings in Grace Cathedral. Looking like Snow White, the bride practically floated down the aisle to Paul McCartney's love song, "Maybe I'm Amazed" in a floor-length, white silk Valentino gown, carrying a bouquet of perfect red roses. Her attendants were her two sisters, Virginia and Dottie, and her new sisters-in-law, actresses Rosanna and Patricia Arquette. The groom shed his trademark flamboyant wear for a classic Valentino morning coat. In honor of his Jewish mother, who died in 1997, Arquette shattered a wine goblet with his foot near the end of the ceremony. Later at the reception, guests dined on lobster and steak and swing danced until 1:00 AM. Despite their contrasting personalities, one thing the couple does agree on is parenthood. "David is going to make an amazing dad," says Cox. "He's really into having a family. He's not afraid to be real. And we have never lied to each other, ever."
Of course, whether this no-fibbing policy will last forever is up to debate. "David is very opposed to plastic surgery," says the actress. "It's [an attitude] I can understand, especially when it's major surgery, but a little something around the eyes...Who knows? That might just have to be our first lie."
As for makeup, Cox is a new member of the less-is-more club. "I used to wear a lot of eye makeup, but during a scene for this movie I looked into the mirror and realized that now I'm older I look a lot better without a lot of makeup on."
Which is a good thing since the couple are prone to spend a lot of time in the shower. "David probably wouldn't want me to tell you this," she says, "but we have these two shower heads and we get in there and we start making up these songs and singing these duets. Sometimes the only thing that gets us out of there is when the hot water runs out."
Exercise: "I get so bored! I had a treadmillÖI gave it to my mom. I had a Stair MasterÖgone. I had a recumbent bikeÖI don't know where that is now. So I hate exercise except for Pilates."
Diet: "Jennifer [Aniston] is a big advocate of The Zone, and she looks amazing. It tried it but I didn't get it. I don't like rules."
Makeup: "I love to ask people what their favorite product is, because I'm always looking for how to deal with the thin skin under my eyes, how to tighten it up. Right now I'm using Yonka products; they're the aromatherapy type, and they smell really good. Also when I looked at the label, it said antiaging, so I got it."
By Malissa Thompson