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AMY IRVING: SHE MAKES A 'SHOW OF FORCE' WITH A NEW BABY

The opening of Amy Irving's newest film, "A Show of Force," was upstaged by the recent birth of her new baby. But the actress didn't complaining about taking second billing.

"I want to have lots of kids, and I'm ready to do it again," said an enthusiastic and very pregnant Irving as she sat in the lobby of a Santa Monica hotel just three weeks before the birth of her second son. "I love being pregnant. It's really a fulfilling feeling, having that life kicking around inside of you. It's the most anazing thing a woman can do."Marriage is another amazing thing a woman can do, and Irving said she plans to wed her new child's father, "A Show of Force" director Bruno Barreto, by the end of the year. No sense rushing these things.

"People have said that we waited because we wanted the baby to attend to ceremony, but that's not really the reason," she said. "Bruno has a 13-year-old daughter who's living with us, and the five of us are getting to know each other. There really hasn't been time to get married."

Irving, who is divorced from director Steven Spielberg, said she fell in love with her director during filming of "A Show of Force," a political thriller set in Puerto Rico, in which Irving plays a television reporter who attempts to unravel the mystery surrounding the death of two young activists. The movie is based on the so-called Cerro Maravilla killings in 1978 that remain a scandal in Puerto Rico today. There have been allegations that U.S. governmental agencies may be involved.

"I thought he was real cute when I met him, but I wasn't necessarily looking for a relationship when I started the film," Irving said. "I didn't fathom this would happen, but it did happen slowly throughout the filming. Bruno said it was happening for him as he looked at me through the camera lens.

"By the end of the filming, we finally realized that we were an item. And I've never felt happier in my whole life. I really struck gold with Bruno."

When Irving met with the director 14 months ago to discuss the movie, she had just come through a trial by tabloid, in which every day brought new revelations about her life and crumbling marriage to Spielberg, who reportedly left his wife for actress Kate Capshaw (who is expecting Spielberg's child).

"Some things happen for the best, but people don't ever know the whole story," Irving said. "You present whatever image you want to the press. I could have been fine (already) before anything started to appear in the press, but because that's the first time people hear about it, they think you're going through it then.

"To tell you the truth, I was feeling great by the time this movie started filming."

The actress, who had a son, Max, with Spielberg, said she wasn't familiar with Barreto's previous films when she first read the script of "A Show of Force," but quickly screened "Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands" and "Happily Ever After" before she and the Brazilian director met.

"I wanted to see who I would be working with, and what I saw was an incredible sexuality in his films," she said. "He's able to bring out a heat in his characters, and that's what I was looking for, somebody to bring out new things in me.

"I'm usually cast as the nice girl, as the sweet girl (she was nominated for an Oscar for "Yentl" and for a Golden Globe in "Crossing Delancey"), but Bruno wasn't looking for a sweet girl. He was looking for a gutsier woman, who is repressed in the beginning of the film because she's mourning her husband, but then, through covering this news story, gets back to living again.

"Bruno loves to take you places you haven't been before, and he found that place for me."

The film, which boasts an all-star cast - Robert Duvall, Andy Garcia, Lou Diamond Phillips and Kevin Spacey - is based on Anne Nelson's book "Murder Under Two Flags."

The island's status has been a focal point of controversy since it became a U.S. possession in 1898. The The question is divided into three camps - those who desire statehood, those who want to remain citizens of a U.S. commonwealth and those who want complete independence.

"When I read the script, I not only wanted to do the movie because it gave me a chance to play a woman with some real guts, but also because I thought it was a great opportunity to give out some information on an important political situation.

Irving, 37, said she will be content for a while to raise her new son, Gabriel Davis Barreto, but already has several film projects in the works, including another movie with her husband-to-be.