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September 28, 1997
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SJP


Ashley Judd is loving life
By LOUIS B. HOBSON


HOLLYWOOD -- Ashley Judd is not a kiss and run kind of girl.

She's just realistic about the instability of celebrity romances.

Judd recently broke up with singer Michael Bolton and counts Matthew McConaughey, Vince Vaughn and Val Kilmer among her on- and off-screen leading men.

"I don't think marriage can work in Hollywood, so I disavowed it immediately," explains Judd.

This doesn't mean the 29-year-old actress is out looking for a nice banker, lawyer or accountant.

"I don't know if I could date a banker. He'd have to be a very special person to understand my lifestyle. That's why it makes more sense for me to date people in the (entertainment) industry."

Before she dated Bolton, Judd had a brief affair with Lyle Lovett.

"I understand musicians. I love being in the same room with someone who is working on a new song. I can be the silent witness a musician needs during such a creative period."

Judd is the sister of country superstar Wynonna Judd and the daughter of country singer Naomi Judd.

"I never wanted to be a singer. It wasn't a question of whether I had the talent to be a singer.

"When we were young, Wynonna sang. I read. It was a natural thing for me to pursue acting and I've found such fulfilment through my acting."

Judd bristles at the suggestion she automatically dates her costars.

"I knew Matthew McConaughey before we were cast as husband and wife in A Time to Kill. It wasn't as if I just moved into his trailer the day we met on the set."

McConaughey and Judd parted company the day that film wrapped.

"Matthew and I loved each other but he went through an incredible change during the filming of A Time to Kill. That's when all the media hype began.

"By the end of the film, he was not the same man. He was entering a whole new world and a whole new phase of his life. He needed time and space to explore it and I knew I had to give him that time and space."

Judd says she also loved Bolton but again things just didn't work out.

"I never go into a relationship expecting it to be short-termed. I know the effect broken relationships can have, so I strive to stay friends with my former lovers."

Judd's parents divorced when she was four and her sister Wynonna was eight.

"I was too young to understand what had happened to our family but the divorce really affected Wynonna. She was so angry and resentful."

Judd says what she remembers most about growing up shunted between her parents and grandparents was that "my mother always seemed devastated that she couldn't give us the material possessions we wanted.

"That made me really want material things. Then, when my mother and sister became famous and we became rich I had all the things I yearned for and it didn't make me any happier.

"That was the greatest lesson I could have learned as a teenager.

"If I hadn't learned that before I got my own level of fame and success, I might have gone wild and destroyed my life.

"The most important thing my mother taught me is that life is more important than show business.

"All of us Judds are trying to make that our mantra."

Naomi Judd's autobiography Love Can Build a Bridge spawned a TV movie about the family's crisis and rebirth.

The book and movie proved painful for Ashley.

"My mother remembered things a bit differently than I did and that hurt.

"We haven't resolved every thing by a long stretch but my mom and I have at least agreed to disagree.

"That's a big step for both of us."

With the release of the psychological thriller Kiss the Girls this Friday, Judd takes a big career step.

She made her acting debut in 1993 as the lead in the independent film Ruby in Paradise. Since then she has played supporting roles in such films as Heat, Smoke and A Time to Kill.

But in Kiss the Girls, Judd shares top billing with Morgan Freeman.

She plays a doctor who helps Freeman's detective find the serial killer who has kidnapped six girls.

It proved to be a very physical role with

Judd's character kick-boxing, running through a forest with the killer at her heels and rolling down embankments.

"I loved learning to kick box and I did all but two of the stunts myself.

"Just being around my niece and nephew has turned me into a tomboy so I was ready for the demands of the film."


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