This Blog, established since Dec 2001, is a place dedicated to the talented and beautiful Hollywood actress Naomi Watts. All images and videos published here are owned by their respective owners or photographers. No copyright infringement whatsoever is intended or implied. The owner of this Blog is not associated with the actress or anyone around her. This Blog is non-profit making and is operated purely for personal interest. We welcome all discreet and well-intentional comments and feedback. (Note: this site is best viewed with Firefox)
Sep 20, 2010
[Article] Woody Allen on directing his actors, and Naomi (excerpt)
Q: Naomi Watts had never met you before she walked on set to begin acting. Do you feel that's the best way to get a good performance out of an actor or are rehearsals preferable?
A: I myself don't like to speak to the actors at all. I like to hire great people and let them do their thing. I don't like to speak to them, I don't want to have lunch with them or socialize with them or hear their ideas. Josh wanted to play this part in a wheelchair. This is what you get when you're the director. Of course he can't play the part in a wheelchair, but when you talk to actors they're thinking about acting. They decided they're going to play it as a hunchback and they're going to grow a beard, affect a limp. The less I speak to the actors the better.
I always hire great people and I don't want to impose my preconceived notions on them. They know how to play it. Lucy knew how to play it. That was a character she created. I wrote the character, but what you're seeing on the screen is her creation. She moved like that, spoke like that. I didn't know the nuances of that when I wrote it, I just wrote the cold lines in the room. Same for Gemma. These people infuse it with what's made them wonderful actors and actresses. The less I have to speak to them the better.
I didn't know Naomi Watts at all. She was a wonderful actress for years in movies, beautiful. I saw no reason to meet her, she had nothing to say to me. What am I gonna tell her? She knows how to act. She read the part, she said she was gonna do it so she must know what it is. She came in that morning, we said hello, the usual exchange of insincerities, you know, "I'm a great fan of your movies, I love all your films!" "Yes, and I love all your films!" All that nonsense. Then she had her hardest scene in the picture. She just started off cold and did the scene where she confronts Gemma and wants the money for her business and Gemma's not gonna give her the money because the medium has advised her not to. That was a very, very strongly-acted scene between the two women. Gemma I had worked with for the prior week or two, but Naomi I hadn't even met her. She came right in and did it and was completely professional and great.
For me that's the best way to work. I don't like to meet the actor and have a lot of conferences and talk about their sublife and their offscreen life and backstories 'cause it never means anything. They never know why they're good. They think they're great because they're doing all this extra work, when in fact when they wake up in the morning they're Jack Nicholson or they're Robert De Niro or they're Josh Brolin, it's built in. They think it's all this other stuff, but it's not. They'd be great if they didn't think about their part or if they didn't. I hope you're digesting all this. (laughs)