Michael Douglas. He and his family have been in Mallorca since May. | Julian Aguirre


Coming to the end of his extended stay in Mallorca, Michael Douglas says that he and the family have spent "wonderful months" on the island, "but we have to get back to life", his involving filming in the UK for the third Ant-Man movie

Covid, he says, forced the family to "regroup" and that this was itself wonderful. "The pandemic has united us very much and we are very grateful to have been able to spend all this time with our children. Our jobs require us to travel a lot. When I'm working, I do so surrounded by 150 people. This family time has given us a lot."

"Having a happy woman by your side makes life happy. I love coming back to Mallorca. I have been coming for more than 30 years and I have learned over time that 'Happy wife is a happy life'. Catherine is very happy here; more so now that we no longer share the house with my first wife, Diandra. She now feels much more comfortable. She is decorating the house in her own way. That makes me happy, to see her really happy here, in our house and with our friends."

Over the years, he has seen governments come and go and the changes that have occurred, but he hasn't lost sight of the fact he comes to Mallorca "because it is the place I love the most in the world" and to support the island.

His property is in the Tramuntana Mountains, and it is the mountains with which he most identifies. "I worked with this part of the island to make it a World Heritage Site. The Costa Nord follows the trail of the Archduke Louis Salvador. His world inspired me. His landscapes and his works marked and still mark my way. I am now very involved with Tramuntana XXI, which is fighting to keep the ancient olive trees on the farms. We don't want the mountains to be built on. They should remain as they are; Deya the village it has always been.

"Being a United Nations Messenger of Peace has helped me make the mountains' heritage something for the whole world. This means a great deal to me. From Banyalbufar to Pollensa, the Tramuntana, at least for me, has not changed much, but then I don't have the problems that governments do. I focus on preserving the part of the heritage that has to do with history and beauty. But I do of course go out of my comfort zone; I travel around the island and I know its problems."

He admits that there was a time when he might have left Mallorca forever. "Yes, it was very uncomfortable to share S'Estaca with my ex-wife, Diandra. Six months each was not a pleasant thing for anyone. Everything is now sorted out. The house is one hundred per cent ours - Catherine's and mine. I never wanted to leave, and my children will continue to come and my grandchildren and their children. I am sure that for generations this island will be theirs. This house belongs to my family and it will continue to be - Cameron, Dylan and Carys love it, and my daughter speaks Spanish perfectly.

Now aged 77, he acknowledges that he has started to worry about his work. "In my last movie I had to do a stunt act and I got injured. My knees are not what they used to be. But I take care of myself much more physically. I can't complain about anything else. I'm working, I get roles that I like to play. My wife works. We are at a very good moment of our life.

"Catherine sends you all her love. She is so happy and now she is on her way to New York to prepare for filming her role as Morticia Addams. That'll be in Romania. Just imagine!

"In the future I want to focus on my work at the UN. I am passionate about it. The US can be the worst enemy of the United Nations and I will try to do what I can. Our planet is so small and so precious that we have to come together to take care of it. We must fight to reduce the gap between the rich and the poor, which is increasing; we must work together.

"Every time I return to Europe, I am more aware of which countries take care of their citizens, something that doesn't happen in the US. However, it is a country that offers opportunities. I believe in the American dream; I am part of it. Think of me as the grandson of a junkman. I am the son of a Hollywood star and I am Michael Douglas; for this reason, I believe that I am the patriot that I am."

Looking back at his career, he speaks about the advantage of being "second generation". "When you enter the industry, you already know what happens behind the scenes. I grew up watching my father become a great movie star, but I also saw the less wonderful roles. You keep quiet, you watch from behind the camera and see everything that goes on. Most actors arrive in Hollywood without knowing what the industry is about, so I had already gained a great deal when I started acting."

But acting wasn't initially for him. "I wanted to be a screenwriter and producer, acting didn't interest me. But I started doing The Streets of San Francisco - non-stop recording, eight months in a row. It was a great success, but I quit and everyone told me I was crazy. My first Oscar was as a producer; television was taboo. In the cinema they didn't want me because I came from TV. My Oscar didn't count for anything. I wanted to be different from my father; I chose the roles of sensitive men. With Fatal Attraction and Wall Street, this was when I felt like an actor. I had come out of my father's shadow."

In Mallorca, he explains that they are "early risers". "We drink coffee, we read the press, the Majorca Daily Bulletin first of all and also the international press. I spend at least two hours reading the news. Then we do sport. Some days friends come for lunch. We take naps and when we wake up, people in in Los Angeles are up. I can work from here with LA.

"Other than this, we love going on days out, taking a small boat along the coast to Cala Deya for example. Time flies. Catherine and I look at each other and wonder where our time goes when we're here."