Naomi Watts on playing Princess Diana: ‘Her life was filled with tragedy’

Naomi Watts covers the February issue of Vogue Australia, and I think this is maybe one of her loveliest pictorials ever. Now, that being said, I can’t really recall many of Naomi’s magazine editorials ever making an impression on me either way. I actually don’t think she does a lot of magazine interviews and editorials…? So this is a special case, and it’s lovely. I like the floral background and I love the green Gucci gown on the cover. Beautiful.

Naomi appears on the cover for two projects – one, she’s promoting The Impossible, for which she will probably get a Best Actress Oscar nomination, and God knows, she might even be a major contender for the award too. She’s also talking a lot about her Princess Diana film, which as this point is only called Diana (it used to be Caught In Flight…?). That film doesn’t even have a US or UK release date yet, so God knows when it will come out. Anyway, Naomi spent a big chunk of this Vogue interview talking about Diana:

Playing Diana: ‘In the case of Diana, of course, there is a huge pressure to look right, to have good hair, to walk and speak like her. And I instantly thought “Oh no, I’m going to fail at that because the comparisons are going to be monumental”. I’m always interested in complicated women, in women who are full of contradictions: strength, vulnerability, success, loneliness and all those things. Diana exemplified that in major ways. She was a great mother, did a lot of things with AIDS charities and the landmines, and had an extraordinary life, but her life was filled with tragedy and, of course, ended in the most tragic way.’

Comparing her celebrity existence to Diana’s: ‘Most of the time I go completely under the radar but I do understand a little the pressure and how awful it must have been for her. She was properly isolated because of the media attention and, as a result, paranoid. She didn’t know who to trust and that is horrible. Such a lonely idea…a horrible way to live.’

On The Impossible: ‘It was definitely hard work but had it been on green screen, you wouldn’t have got the same feeling. I mean, we were in that pool, struggling to breathe. Of course, nothing to the extent to what the real people went through, but, nonetheless… I’m not even a strong swimmer. The pressure of The Impossible was huge because it is such a sensitive subject and needs to be told with a lot of truth.’

On living a normal life: “There is nothing that is going to stop me [living a normal life]. I won’t allow that. Sometimes we may be suddenly surrounded by 10 or 15 photographers on the school run and they just won’t get out of your face, but most of the time we’re fine and can get through it. I don’t want to be stuck in the house and send someone to fetch the children.”

On keeping a work-life balance: “You know, I want be able to do normal things. You can also add to the problem if you do the secretive thing, putting up the umbrellas and all that. It creates more allure that way. I think it’s better to go out with messy hair. They might write that I look tired or old or something but they are going to pick on something regardless.”

On tough criticism: “I got knockback after knockback at auditions. Just before ‘Mulholland Dr.’ my agent told me I was so intense I was freaking people out. She told me I was a brilliant actor but the feedback was that I made people feel uncomfortable because I was so nervous and intense. I just sat there and blubbed. My mum was staying in LA at the time and I went to her and said: ‘I just can’t do this. I’m not cut out for it.’ She just said: ‘Don’t believe a word people say about you. Forget them.’”

[From The Mail]

Is it weird that Naomi kind of gives me Jessica Chastain vibes? I mean that in a good way for the most part – I think both women try to be purposefully bland and noncontroversial in their personal lives, and I think both women are talented and intelligent and they take their work seriously. It’s funny to me that they’re probably going to be going against each other for Best Actress. Jessica, Naomi, Jennifer Lawrence… maybe Marion Cotillard or Rachel Weisz or Helen Mirren. If you had to choose between Naomi and Jessica, who would you pick?

Photos courtesy of Vogue Australia.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

42 Responses to “Naomi Watts on playing Princess Diana: ‘Her life was filled with tragedy’”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. Elceibeno says:

    I saw ‘impossible’ at the movies Saturday night and her acting was superb. I din’t anything about her but I like her.

  2. Hubbahun says:

    Naomi over JC anyday – after all she has Liev (yum yum YUM):D

  3. Ameila says:

    Am I the only one who is really reticent about this Diana biopic?
    I know it only covers a couple of years, but it just seems a bit . . . I’d say a bit audacious. And not in a ‘boldly go where no man has gone before’ kind of way (yes, I did just quote Star Trek).
    It seems a bit too early, IMO.

  4. Rhea says:

    Love the first picture. As for the winner, Naomi might have a slight more advantage for winning since Naomi have the advantage of knowing a lot of the voters—with whom she’s worked through her career and friends.

  5. Jess says:

    What a beautiful editorial, and that green Gucci gown is DEVINE. I WANT.

  6. Rachel() says:

    I love Naomi Watts! I hope she wins this year.

  7. Mitch Buchanan Rocks! says:

    NW was really good in Mother and Child with Annette Benning.

  8. Ms Kay says:

    Jessica Chastain is the new one on the scene so they won’t give her the Best Actress statuette this year, more like nominate her.

    Weisz already has one for best supporting but because Drep Blue Sea had mixed reviews (good yes thanks to her performance) it may play a bit against her.

    Dame Helen Mirren well she already got an Oscar.

    Jennifer Lawrence already has a best actress nod in her bag and even if she gets nominated again they still won’t give it to her, say too young or for the sake having a young actress making it to the final 5 shortlist or whatever reason.

    Marion well she was superb in Rust and Bones and is one of the most solid contenders here but she already has a statuette, and unless she pulls a Hilary Swank, they might just give her the nod, not the statuette.

    Naomi has been establishing herself as a solid actress for the past years and she has been getting that recognition more and more so she is more likely to get the statuette.

    My analysis only…

  9. alons -y alonso says:

    As an Aussie I’m going to have to go for our girl Naomi :D

  10. T.C. says:

    Can we let the dead blondes in peace please. I see all these Princess Diana, Marilyn Monroe, Grace Kelly biopics as just profiting from the dead. We don’t learn anything new or get any more insight into them as people than before.

  11. aims says:

    She looks so stunning and elegant. She also gets a thumbs up from me for living a normal life with her family.

  12. Ann says:

    Love Naomi, as for the biopic, I couldn’t care less. Am I the only one who couldn’t give a flying fu** about Diana?

  13. Dani says:

    That’s the green Gucci dress Rosie Huntington Whiteley wore at the Lacma 2012 Art and Film Gala, and it/she was called all kinds of nasty names when it was posted on Celebitchy. I love the dress regardless, but it’s interesting to see how on one person the dress is fug, and on someone else it’s amazing.

  14. MJ says:

    That last photo with the hydrangeas is so, so gorgeous! I like her a lot. I won’t be watching the Diana movie, but I think she was the right choice compared to anyone else out there.

  15. RobN says:

    The whole Diana movie makes me uncomfortable. Those boys surely do not want it all dredged up again, there really is no new ground to cover, and it just seems like it’s intended to take advantage of the current interest in the royal family to make a few bucks. Seems very exploitive, regardless of whether they got a name actress or not.

  16. Sweet Dee says:

    Love Naomi and love the photo spread, it’s beautiful just like her, and I love the gowns. For me, Naomi > Jessica any day of the week. Jessica is still green.

  17. Mara says:

    Beautiful pictures,she really is a good actress.

  18. Minxx says:

    Naomi over Jessica, no question. She’s lovely and talented, has no big ego, and has worked hard for many years in HW. She should have gotten an Oscar for Mullholland Drive and she didn’t even get nominated. I hope she wins this year.

  19. Claudia says:

    Naomi over Jessica. But I’m biased, I recently watched The Impossible and thought she was great in it. Her and Tom Holland. ESPECIALLY Tom Holland, has he been nominated in any of the major award circuits yet? If not, that would be a crime. Haven’t seen Zero Dark Thirty yet…so…

    • meh says:

      Zero Dark Thirty is GOOD. I don’t think JC speaks more than 4 lines until over an hour in though. I didn’t see the movie as something that showcased her acting talents necessarily. It’s a plot driven movie rather than a character driven one.

      • Claudia says:

        I like your analysis on that :) . A lot of times I feel like these awards shows look for other ways to recognize great movies, in case it doesn’t win top prize (best picture, director)… they end up reaching, and this is probably an example of that. The best picture race is so tight this year.

  20. Nymeria says:

    Oh, for Pete’s sake! If Diana’s life was tragic, then that of the average person must be downright unspeakable. Just a rich person oozing empathy for another rich person. These people have completely lost touch with reality.

    • Really? says:

      Nymeria, i could almost agree with you, if we were standing on a street corner somewhere on Wisteria Lane, swapping recipes and gossip, talking about the have’s and the have not’s, but we are talking about PRINCESS DIANA, and if you know anything about her, you know she was not your average “rich person” devoid of any sort of feeling or respect. You are way off base…Diana was much, much more…in fact, one might almost say that she was so much more, that she died for it as a result. Do your homework before you make such a broad and seemingly thoughtless remark.

      I love you Diana, wish you were here.

    • Yama Yama says:

      yes, Nymeria, the average person have all the papparazi hounding them everyday, everywhere and being chased by photographers on motorcycles. Just like Princess Di.

  21. Nessa says:

    She looks amazing! I just love her and am pulling for her to win the Oscar!!!!

  22. ds says:

    I just saw The Impossible and Naomi was amazing…. That is an actress

  23. KellyinSeattle says:

    I especially love the last pic.
    I miss Diana so much, RIP

  24. ruby says:

    I would pick Jessica I think, but it’s a tough choice. They are both above the average talentless actresses, that’s for sure.

  25. Mrs. Ari Gold says:

    Naomi is a much more soulful and gifted actress then Jessica Chastain. Naomi blows me away. She’s one of the best actresses to come along in years. She really bares it all in every performance and morphs herself for each character. Jessica is skilled & beautiful but uninteresting.

    If Naomi wins for “The Impossible” (which I hope she does) it will mean that so many more people will see it which would be great. The film has such an important and positive message.