Don't call TNT's The Mists of Avalon a chick flick in front of Anjelica Huston. The 50-year-old Oscar winner who plays high priestess Viviane in the epic miniseries (airing July 15 and July 16, 8 pm/ET) insists that the two-part female-slanted retelling of the Arthurian legend has "a lot of men, a lot of swords and a lot of sword battles."
Huston goes on to argue that "the men feature pretty strongly in this, so I wouldn't classify it as something that was entirely driven by women." Still, she does concede that the lavish, $20 million production based on Marion Zimmer Bradley's novel does put women "in the front seat rather than the back seat for once."
Like co-stars Julianna Margulies and Joan Allen, Huston loved wielding the power of Avalon. "I have to say, I quite developed a taste for creating fire and lifting mist and changing the weather," winks the actress, best known for her dark comedic turns in Prizzi's Honor and The Addams Family. "It was great to be a goddess."
Huston comes down to earth for her next role the matriarch to a family of geniuses in the upcoming big-screen comedy The Royal Tenenbaums, which also stars Gene Hackman, Danny Glover, Ben Stiller, Gwyneth Paltrow and Luke Wilson. And although the two projects are set in different centuries, Mists and Tenenbaums share one thing in common: They were both experiences Huston won't soon forget.
"Occasionally, I leave films thinking, 'Well, that's good. That was that... On to the next.' And sometimes it is painful," she says. "And when it's good, it does move you and it is hard to say goodbye to those people. I'd say both Mists of Avalon
] were two movies that I'm going to remember because of the people."