Michelle Pfeiffer shielded her eyes against the warm morning sun outside her house.
"Are you sure that's going to be safe?" she asked. She was calling to the carpenter and pointing to the treehouse he was building in her backyard.
For the third time that morning, the carpenter had stopped hammering and replied, "Safe as the Statue of Liberty."
Recalling the incident, the actress and mother of two, says, "Finally, David came out and suggests, 'Honey, you really should have been a carpenter. Get a hammer and go out there and show him how to do it.' "
Ms. Pfeiffer is, of course, referring to writer-producer husband, David E. Kelley. The actress is seldom seen on the party circuit, but she did attend the Emmy Awards and other industry events last year when her husband carried home top honors for his TV hits "The Practice" and "Ally McBeal."
Pfeiffer has been off the screen for a year, by choice, to be home with Kelley and their two children, ages 5 and 7. Her most recent films include "The Story of Us" and "The Deep End of the Ocean."
Now, she's teamed up with Harrison Ford in an edge-of-your-seat thriller, "What Lies Beneath," which opens today. Ford plays a college scientist and Pfeiffer his wife, living in a New England town.
Director Robert Zemeckis found the perfect location in Addison, Vt., where they filmed at Daughters of the American Revolution State Park, with Lake Champlain in the background.
"I think it was my cue to do a film when my daughter asked, 'Mom, when are you going back to work?' My answer was that I was staying home just to be with her and her little brother. Before I got the words out of my mouth, she repeated the question with the emphasis on when."