She reads novels in French, mainlines Mars Bars and commands a vocabulary bigger than Webster's. What's more, says High Crimes director Carl Franklin, Ashley Judd can "stop a room," even when she looks her worst. "At our first meeting, Ashley had the flu. She was wearing sweats and not an ounce of makeup," he says. "But she was still gorgeous. To look beautiful when you're blowing your nose is a gift from the gods." And from Mom, country superstar Naomi Judd, who handed down her apple cheeks and southern joie de vivre. Raised in Kentucky and California, the 5'6" 34-year-old now rejuvenates at her 1,000-acre Tennessee farm with her husband of five months, Italian-Scottish race-car driver Dario Franchitti, 28. "To really relax," she says, "I stay in my house and spend private time with my husband." Judd, a devotee of Ashtanga yoga, admits she clung to a Dixie-chick hairstyle until falling for Franchitti. "I used to be very southern about my hair, leaving it long and spending time curling it," she says. "But driving fast for an afternoon with Dario would make anyone want to chop their hair off."
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