August 14, 2008

Cox Takes Short Step to Direct

By Donna Freydkin

Courteney Cox adored directing much in the same way Monica Geller, her neat-freak Friends character, loved her cleaning products.

"I'm detail-oriented in life, so it was a perfect fit for me," Cox says. "I'm definitely a morale-booster to the crew. I like to work with music. It's your job to keep everybody doing their best and happy to be there."

She's making her directing debut as part of Glamour magazine's 2008 Reel Moments series of short films. The project, which is in its fourth year, has enabled stars such as Kate Hudson, Gwyneth Paltrow, Bryce Dallas Howard and Jennifer Aniston to go behind the camera. This year, Cox, Demi Moore and screenwriter Kirsten "Kiwi" Smith (The House Bunny, Bride Wars) get their shot. The shorts, sponsored by Suave, will be unveiled at a Los Angeles premiere Oct. 14 and afterward can be seen online at

"My short's about a girl, played by Laura Dern, who has a chance encounter on a bus that confirms the decision she makes to be single and reinforces her faith in herself," Cox says. "I have so many single friends. It's tough. This story speaks to people. You don't have to have someone complete you."

In reality, both Cox and Dern are married -- Cox to actor David Arquette, Dern to musician Ben Harper -- and they're friends. "Laura is a very warm, sweet, talented woman," Cox says. "She gets approached (for projects) a lot, but she really connected to this. She let go and trusted me. It brought our friendship even closer."

Cox, who just shot a three-episode arc on Scrubs, says she'll direct again: "There's no question. Maybe I'll do another short. I'll work my way up. Who knows?"

And for now, she and Arquette will remain the only performers in their immediate family. Daughter Coco, 4, seems to have acting aspirations but has taken only baby steps in that direction.

"She talks about it," Cox says. "When she comes on the set, she wants to be in front of the camera -- but then she says she wants to direct. She's very much an outgoing kid at home and with her friends. But when she was on stage in her ballet recital, she couldn't move. Absolute stage fright. She talks about wanting to be out there. But she can't. Not yet."

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