Catherine Zeta-Jones is InStyle’s December cover girl! In the issue, the 43-year-old actress proves—after years facing life’s toughest battles, like husband Michael Douglas’s throat cancer and her own admission of bipolar disorder—that she’s back, and stronger than ever. “I’m not the kind of person who likes to shout out my personal issues from the rooftops,” she tells InStyle. “But with my bipolar becoming public, I hope fellow sufferers will know it’s completely controllable. I hope I can help remove any stigma attached to it.” Ever an icon of strength, Zeta-Jones triumphed through it all—and now she’s having some fun. “I’m building a closet in my house now, and it’s like a dream,” she says of her obsession with fashion. “Racks on each side, a whole boudoir. I sit in there and watch CNN. Michael says one day I’m going to go in and never come out!” And her stock may surprise you. “I love clothes, and yes, we go out, but it’s not like I’m walking around all day in a neglige with fluffy mules,” she says. “We’re country people, really. I garden and knit. I golf. We ride horses. It’s true, I don’t like the whole cutoff-shorts-and-T-shirt look, but I think you can look fantastic in casual clothes.” Next up, you’ll see her in Playing for Keeps (out December 7th) and Broken City (out January 18th). For more of our exclusive interview, flip to page 431 of the December issue—or download it on your iPad, Nook, or Droid tablet—on newsstands Friday, November 16th.

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Plus, see Catherine’s transformation!

catherine's transformation

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Cover: Nina Ricci dress and belt, Fred Leighton jewelry. Photo: Dolce & Gabbana silk lace and tulle dress, Eres polyamide-spandex bra, Falke fishnet tights, Verdura diamond, aquamarine, and platinum brooch, Fred Leighton diamond and 18kt gold vintage bracelet, Valentino Garavani crystal-embellished leather heels.