There it goes again. The malfunctioning toilet in Angelina Jolie's hotel suite in Campeche, Mexico, flushes once more, all by itself, and in the adjoining living room the actress doubles over with laughter. It is April 2000 and Jolie, dressed in a black ZZ Top T-shirt and blue pajama pants dotted with baby chicks, is taking a rare afternoon off during the shooting of Original Sin, a romantic period thriller costarring Antonio Banderas, which opens Aug. 3. In this old walled city the accommodations are more the pits than the Ritz, but Jolie, 26, gets a kick out of the south-of-the-border shabby chic. "I love this place," she says between mouthfuls of spaghetti and tortilla soup, delivered by room service.

Still glowing from her Oscar win for Girl, Interrupted and newly enamored with actor-director Billy Bob Thornton (they would marry two months later), Jolie has every reason to be giddy. "My life," she says, "is complete." Even finding an insect's cocoon in mint ice cream she buys from a street vendor doesn't get her down; she thought it was a pecan until a friend tapped on it with a spoon, revealing its true identity.

Work proves more palatable—especially the spicy love scenes with Banderas, 40. "I think all the women just want to kill me," says Jolie. One notable exception: Banderas's wife, Melanie Griffith, 43, who visits the set between dips in the pool with the couple's daughter Stella, 4. Explains Banderas: "Melanie knows that whatever I do with Angelina in the movie, she gets every night—and for real."