Linda Kozlowski, in New York for sessions with the press, looked like the kind of woman for whom a man might give up his crocodiles and kangaroos. Dressed in a very short jump suit, she was as pretty in person as she is on the screen.
Her newest film is "Almost an Angel," in which she co-stars with Paul Hogan, the man who made the two "Crocodile Dundee" films.
She and Hogan are married now. They have been since May, and that pleases Kozlowski because it means that the press is laying off. It hasn't been so bad here, but it was in Australia, where Hogan was born and where he filmed much of his "Dundee" movies.
"It wasn't so bad over here, but over there, he's the big onion," said his wife. "There was a lot of negative press there. I guess they had to have something to write about, some angle, but things have changed now. We're boring now. We're married. We're not scandalous anymore."
It was assumed that Kozlowski had won the lead female role in the first "Dundee" through Hogan. Not true, says Kozlowski. "I auditioned for the role in New York, won it and then met Paul. I was already cast when we met."
Her hair is back to blond. It is dark in the new film, and that's the way she wanted it. "I don't play a movie star," she said. "I'm just a girl staying at home to take care of my family, and she wouldn't really care what she looks like. I've done two glamorous roles, and it was interesting to do something completely different, to keep the hair and makeup at bay. It was fun."
This is her third film with Hogan, and she is sensitive to the suggestion that she doesn't seem to be able to work on her own.
"We didn't plan to team in the new movie, not in the beginning," she said. "It just evolved. I had a lot of things to consider about the new film. The role is far enough removed from Sue, the character in the 'Dundee' movies, and there is no real love story.
"I also liked the character. And we were engaged at the time. I didn't want to go off and do something else, away from Paul. It seemed silly not to do the film just because a few people would say something about it.
"And I have done other things. I did a mini for television, 'Favorite Son.' People say it doesn't count, but it does. I'm not glued to the idea of forming a team with Paul. That would be a weird goal, and neither of us wants that. We've only done three films together."
She does like to work with her husband. "It's great," she said. "We know each other and are relaxed. When you work with someone else, and you bring it all home, it's boring to your partner. This way, we are involved in the same process, and yes, we talk about our work at home. You can't help it."
She and her husband divide their time between California and Australia. They have homes in both places. "In Australia, it takes one hour to get to the nearest K mart," she said. "It does take a while to get used to the creatures, but it's happening." During the course of our conversation, she made several references to the press.
Does she hate it?
"I don't mind so much when they say those things about my work," she said. "That's one thing. If they think I'm a bad actress, that's fine. It's when they attack you personally that you care."
When she began her career, she was advised by some to change her name to something more manageable on the marquee. She refused.
"I said hey, they don't do that anymore. That's out. Why should I change my name?"
She hopes to begin her next film soon. It will be the story of Baby Doe, the legendary woman who married the owner of a silver mine, then died broke in 1935. "She was a strong woman," said Kozlowski. "She was ahead of her time. It's an old-fashioned story, but I like her."
Kozlowski, 32, is going to take her time about motherhood. "Yeah, down the road, but there are still a lot of things I want to do, traveling and things, before I do that," she said.
"Almost an Angel" is about a petty thief who dies, then is told that he must return to Earth to do a good deed in order to make it into heaven. The film is really about the reaffirmation of faith, which is all right with Kozlowski. "I don't believe we turn into fertilizer," she said. "I believe that you go on, somehow, maybe as energy, maybe as a spirit, something."
"Almost an Angel," written and co-authored by Hogan, opens here tomorrow. We'll know, by weekend, whether or not the Crock man can do it outside the "Dundee" movies.