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)

Jan 18, 2013

[Article] Mega Watts

By Jason Johnson, The New Paper
Jan 19, 2013

Just off the top of my head, I could tell you that Angelina Jolie is married to Brad Pitt. There's no one who doesn't know that.

Kristen Stewart cheated on Robert Pattinson. Natalie Portman is married to some dancer she met on the set of Black Swan. I could go on.

Thing is, even though Naomi Watts is one of my favourite actresses, I hadn't a clue about her personal life until I checked the Internet and learnt that US actor Liev Shreiber is her baby daddy. Though not yet married, the unlikely couple have two children together.

Huh. Interesting! (Oh, and she dated the late Heath Ledger before that)...(more after the jump)

It's amazing that the 44-year-old Australian, who's appeared in films ranging from Mulholland Drive (1999) to King Kong (2005), remains a relatively obscure figure who basically fades into the background.

She's so great at what she does, and yet we have no idea who she actually IS. As she told The New York Times, she's virtually unrecognised in public.

"I go so under the radar," she said. "I think I just look really different in life.

"People expect movie stars to look like movie stars." Watts' modesty notwithstanding, all this could be about to change.

Just last week, she received a Best Actress Oscar nomination for her latest role in The Impossible, the story of one family's struggles during the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004, which opens here today.

Should she actually win, she'll most likely transform, Cinderella-like, from an actress into a superstar.

She plays Maria, a mother of three who is vacationing in Thailand with her businessman husband (Ewan McGregor) when the tsunami hits. To say that mayhem ensues would be a massive understatement.

The fact that it's based on a true story makes it even more harrowing.

"When the idea was proposed to me, it wasn't, like, 'Oh, I have to do that,' Watts told film website MovieWeb.

"Before I read the script, the idea of making a movie about the tsunami just didn't appeal to me. Was it just going to be a disaster movie with a lot of running and screaming? It didn't sound right.

"But as soon as I read the script, and learnt that Juan Antonio Bayona (The Orphanage) was directing, I was in."

She also considers it one of her toughest roles in terms of emotional and physical demand. For one, throughout the filming, she was in touch with real-life tsunami survivor Maria Belon from Spain, who's the inspiration for her character.

"In Maria's case, I just felt I had this responsibility to her. But she feels she has the responsibility to everyone else who suffered or lost lives.

"So I took that on board and it was such a big thing. Every day we were being reminded of that. That was really weighing on me, which is a lot of pressure," Watts told Indo-Asian News Service. Nerve-racking.

Shooting in water was especially nerve-racking and difficult for Watts, who has hydrophobia.

She said: "We were anchored into a chair with weights on us to keep us down. You had the oxygen tank right there up until the cameras rolled, and you'd push it away and then the chair starts spinning, and you have to do all your arm-acting and head-flipping.

"There was one point when I was about to get out of the chair, and I couldn't get out. It was a technical problem, and it really freaked me out. In spite of having a fear of water, I had to stay in a water tank for weeks."

Watts has been nominated for an Oscar in the past for her work in the drama 21 Grams (2003) opposite Sean Penn. She lost out to Charlize Theron, who won for Monster.

For the next decade, she basically toiled on relatively low-budget, high-quality motion pictures - with the notably huge exception of King Kong.

Her Oscar nod for The Impossible basically re-establishes her as a force in Hollywood. The role seems to have reminded both film-makers and fans that Watts is one of the industry's great talents.

I mean, don't take our word for it.

Reese Witherspoon, an Oscar winner herself for Walk The Line in 2005, published an open letter in Entertainment Weekly lavishing praise on her peer.

"I hope it's okay that I am reaching out to you," she wrote, "Because I simply could not contain my enthusiasm about your performance in The Impossible.

"Wow. Just wow...

"The ferocity of your mothering spirit and the soul-touching moments where you hold on to life with every part of your being were incredible.

"Not since I saw Meryl Streep in Sophie's Choice have I been so moved by an actress' performance."

Watts, of course, isn't standing still with The Impossible.

If she triumphs over fellow Best Actress nominees Emmanuelle Riva, Jennifer Lawrence, Jessica Chastain and Quvenzhané Wallis and takes home the Oscar come Feb 24, it will, of course, be a tremendous boon to her career.

But she has another role in the pipeline this year that will raise her profile regardless of whether or not she takes home the coveted statue - that of Princess Diana in the biopic Diana.

It's the sort of movie that will receive a lot of awards buzz, and Watts will be right in the centre of the action and commanding everyone's attention again.

The funny thing is that while Watts seems tickled to be in the hunt for Hollywood's greatest honour - she told CNN that she's "freaking out" over the nomination - she's never really done anything to pander for this sort of approval or attention.

The Impossible is hardly your typical Oscar bait.

She's simply done great work in great films, and it's finally being recognised.

Her nomination for The Impossible is the culmination of a long career filled with creativity and integrity.

She appeared in her first film, the Aussie historical romance For Love Alone, way back in 1986. She's done scrappy genre pictures such as Tank Girl (1995).

She's done horror with The Ring (2002) and The Ring Two (2005).

She's done challenging arty stuff like Michael Haneke's Funny Games (2007), and quirky indies such as David O Russell's I Heart Huckabees (2004).

She's done dramatic thrillers like Fair Game (2010) and The International (2009). Each of these flicks were better for having Watts in them.

As director Bayona told the Los Angeles Times: "Naomi, she's a beast. A wild beast. "In Spain, actors like Javier Bardem, we call them beasts.

"She loves to go to dark places, to go to that suffering. And she loves for the director to put her there, to push her.

"No matter how much I pushed her, she was always happy about it."


Emma C said...

Thank you for Naomi.

Santos said...

She is my girl!

parker said...

People love to call her "Mega Watts". Have seen this many many times. But she is indeed her name Watts, luminous all round.