Campbell cast her as the leading lady in favour of Izabella Scorupco, who was his original choice for the part.
She was then cast as the eponymous protagonist of the 1995 television biopic Catherine the Great.
Dismayed at being typecast as the token pretty girl in British films, Zeta-Jones relocated to Los Angeles.
Zeta-Jones initially established herself in Hollywood with roles that highlighted her sex appeal such as in the action film The Mask of Zorro (1998) and the heist film Entrapment (1999).
In 1990, Zeta-Jones made her film debut in the director Philippe de Broca's film 1001 Nights.
An adaptation of the Persian fable One Thousand and One Nights, the French-Italian production recounts the tale from the perspective of Scheherazade (Zeta-Jones), one of the brides of King Sharir (Thierry Lhermitte).