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March 2002
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Kimberly Elise - 'John Q' Co-Star

About Kimberly Elise, Denzel Washington said, "Kimberly is such an emotionally available and wonderful actress, that half the time I really was doing what you see in the scenes - trying to keep her together."

High praise from Hollywood's elite is becoming a regular thing for Kimberly Elise. Ever since her feature film debut as Tisean in the 1996, "Set It Off," Elise has landed a dearth of quality roles. From the envious sister Denver in "Beloved," to the 1997 Family Channel film "The Ditchdigger's Daughter for which she won a Cable Ace Award, this Minnesota girl has everyone in the industry watching. But in spite of her rising star, she still gets nervous.

While Elise was thrilled to play Denzel Washington's wife in "John Q," she was also seriously starstruck and nervous around the Oscar winner.

"I couldn't help but tell him that I was in grade school when he was on St. Elsewhere," the 30-year-old admits.

"One of the highlights for me was to introduce my dad to Denzel. I felt blessed to be in one of his films, and in such a profound film, and to watch the magic in person."

Surprisingly, the suspenseful scenes weren't the toughest for Elise. Instead, she had trouble with the more touching scenes. "The first [scene] we shot was at the baseball game," she recalls. "Nick (director NickCassavetes] wanted me to lean back between Denzel's legs. That was so uncomfortable for me, just to … like a real couple would. He was still Denzel Washington!"

NEW MOVIE WEB SITES

ALL ABOUT THE BENJAMINS (NEW LINE)

COLLATERAL DAMAGE (WARNER BROS.)

CROSSROADS AKA WHAT ARE FRIENDS FOR (PARAMOUNT)

DRAGONFLY (UNIVERSAL)

JOHN Q (NEW LINE)

NEW GUY, THE (SONY)

PANIC ROOM, THE (SONY)

QUEEN OF THE DAMNED (WARNER BROS.)