Cate Blanchett only discovered she was pregnant when she passed out on the set of her new movie THE LIFE AQUATIC - while she was being fitted with a prosthetic belly.

Ironically, the Australian actress plays a pregnant mum in the WES ANDERSON film, and she was preparing for the role when she found out she was pregnant with her second child for real.

She says, "I was having the prosthetic belly fitted and I fainted and I thought, `That's really odd.' I thought I had a gastro problem, and I found out I was pregnant!

"It was a very weird experience having a bodycast fitted - you have to take your clothes off, so you're naked, and they cover you in plaster of Paris on the front and the back and it's quite claustrophobic and you can't breathe a lot.

"So I fainted and I must've smashed the cast. They put all this black plastic around me, so I woke up and, if you faint, you don't know where you are for the first few minutes. I woke up in black plastic, covered in plaster, naked. I thought, 'This is the end!'"

06/11/2003 01:30