- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 18, 2002

LOS ANGELES — Motherhood seems to suit Geena Davis, whether she's parent to a talking mouse on the big screen or to the energetic infant squirming on her lap.

Miss Davis, who gave birth to a daughter in April, returns as the peppy mom in "Stuart Little 2," the sequel to the 1999 hit about a family that adopts a cuddly white rodent. The film opens in Washington Friday.

With her 2-month-old daughter, Alizeh, in her arms, Miss Davis says a round of interviews to promote the film was the "first time that we've really done anything except enjoy each other and just have fun all day."

Alizeh is the first child for Miss Davis, 45, who got married for the fourth time last year, to Reza Jarrahy, a doctor she met through friends.

Has motherhood taught her anything that she might apply if there's another "Stuart Little" sequel?

"No, not yet," Miss Davis says. "And also, a lot of the things I learned from being Stuart's mother don't apply to being a parent in real life. Like how to make clothes with little holes for the tail. There's not a lot of crossover."

Miss Davis made her film debut in 1982's "Tootsie" and had a solid string of successes through the early 1990s, including "The Fly," "Beetlejuice," "Thelma & Louise" and "A League of Their Own." She won a supporting-actress Oscar for 1988's "The Accidental Tourist."

After commercial misfires such as "Cutthroat Island" and "The Long Kiss Goodnight," she roared back with "Stuart Little" and even tried her hand at a TV sitcom, the short-lived "The Geena Davis Show."

On "Stuart Little," Miss Davis joins a growing number of actors with nonexistent co-stars that are added later through digital animation. Michael J. Fox is back as the voice of the title character, but Miss Davis had to make believe she was conversing with Stuart.

Q: What's it like to interact with a mouse that isn't there?

A: Stuart is my son, so I have a very emotional relationship with him, and it's tricky, I find, to have this deep relationship with the tabletop. In the first movie, I had never even seen any film of Stuart, what he was going to look like. So I was like, 'Please, make sure he looks great, because I'm really throwing myself into this. I'm going to look pretty silly if he winds up looking cartoony.' Then, I couldn't believe how great he looked. Every little whisker. And now I'm so proud of the second one. I think we did an even better job.

Q: You built your reputation on adult-oriented comedies and dramas. Did you ever see yourself as matriarch in a family franchise?

A: I had a little flavor of having very young fans back in the '80s when I did 'Beetlejuice.' I always thought that if I did another family film it would be fun because I just get a kick out of it when kids recognize me. Now they go, 'That's Stuart's mommy there.' And they want to know about Stuart, which is so cute. They think he's real.

Q: After "A League of Their Own," you had a string of unsuccessful movies and took a few years off from acting. Why?

A: It was really a product of what's out there. I'm not the one deciding, greenlighting movies, and I'm certainly not the one deciding what movies I'm going to be right for. The things I got to look at, I just didn't see anything that I liked. And I would so much rather amuse myself than do a movie I don't like. I'm not a workaholic.

Q: Many actors fade away if they've been out of the game for a while, yet you returned strongly with "Stuart Little." Are you a resilient, bounce-back kind of person?

A: I would describe myself as a take-it-as-it-comes kind of person. I love acting, but it's not driving my life by any means and hasn't really for a long time. My only goal as far as acting is concerned is if there's something good that comes along that's worth leaving the house for, I'm happy to do it. I wish 'Thelma & Louises' were plopping through the mail slot every minute and I would have to turn down these fabulous parts because there's just too many. But, that not being the case, I have other ways that I can find fulfillment. I'm very happy to work if something great comes along, but family and friends, the quote-unquote real life, is the thing.

Q: Any real-life encounters with mice you'd care to share?

A: I'm loath to admit that there was a recent mouse incident that didn't end well for the mouse. There was one in my house. But you know, with a baby, you can't have a mouse. It was cute, but

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