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.’”
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.