Naomi Watts: Every single day, I second-guess myself as a mother


Naomi Watts is the cover girl for the new issue of Blackbook Magazine, and these are all of the photos from Blackbook’s site. The theme seems to be “dominatrix lite” which kind of works for Naomi, surprisingly. I always think she’s so pretty, but she seems so delicate and fragile, I wouldn’t have chosen any sort of whips and leather props. Anyway, the interview (full piece here) is very interesting if you’re a fan. Naomi talks about her early struggles, and she’s rather brutally honest about how she feels like she’s “failing” at balancing motherhood and work. Here are the best excerpts:

Naomi on motherhood and balance: “Every single day, I second-guess myself as a mother. I chose to be a mom. It’s something I’ve always wanted, but I feel torn between two worlds. I am not reaching the same depths and heights that I used to reach in movies because I’m a parent of two small children who desperately need me. It’s frustrating because I feel like I’m failing a bit on both ends.”

On possibly having more kids: “I would love to have an endless brood of children. I grew up in chaos. I feel comfortable in chaos. Whether or not I’ll ever adopt remains to be seen, but I totally believe in adoption.”

On fame: “I never get recognized. I’ve literally had people come up to me and say, ‘You look just like that actress Naomi Watts.’ And when I’m with Liev, who is so unmistakably him, girls will push past me shrieking, ‘Is that the guy from Scream?’”

Working with Sean Penn for the third time, in this fall‘s Fair Game: “I was so nervous the first time I had to share a scene with him. Now it’s like, let’s get on with it already!”

On working with Woody Allen: “Woody has this reputation of not talking to his actors, but we never stopped talking. I kept thinking, Does this mean he’s never going to work with me again?”

On her early days as a model: “I was never a model. With good lighting, I could pass, but I never had that fashion edge, that je ne sais quoi.”

On early rejections: “I wasn’t used to going around from person to person, and being rejected by everyone based on the way I looked. It’s not the same as getting turned down for a job at the bank. It’s so personal.” When I suggest that perhaps it was a gift—suitable preparation for what she would next encounter in Hollywood—Watts looks down at her empty soup bowl. “No,” she says, shaking her head. “Nothing prepares you for that.”

On moving to LA: “As soon I got to L.A., I remember some guy at a bar being like, ‘I work in TV and I can get you a show.’ It just felt grotesque,” she says and then adds, joking, “In retrospect, maybe I shouldn’t have slept with him!”

Naomi met a lot of skeezes: “There was a very powerful agent, whose name I won’t mention, who took me to dinner one night to discuss working with me,” she says. “It seemed weird, but I thought maybe it was how things were done. He kept asking me if I had a boyfriend, and then insisted on driving me home where he tried to kiss me. I felt mortified, stupid and totally bamboozled.”

Naomi denies every working for Nicole Kidman: “That was never, ever the case. I wasn’t even her assistant. I stayed with Nic for a few days during the week that she and Tom split up, but that was it—nothing more than a case of broken telephone. But there were times when I thought, Shit, I’d love to earn some money not doing anything.”

Being desperate to work: “I was so afraid of judgment that I had diluted myself into an intense ball of nothingness and neediness. I was so desperate to please everyone: You want funny? I’ll be really funny! You want sexy? I’ll be sexier than you could ever imagine!”

On the Blackbook photo shoot: “I can’t put that on,” she says, apologetic but unwavering in her refusal to wear a Coco de Mer horsetail belt. “I’ve got two kids. I can’t be doing this bestiality stuff.”

Doing full-frontal nudity: “I’ve never done full-frontal nudity before,” she says. “It was so hard for me to do that. I had just had a baby, so my body was completely different. But I thought that if I was going to play this ballsy woman, I needed to go for it. Someone in the crew tipped off the paparazzi and now there are photos of me on that website—what’s it called—Perez Hilton. Isn’t that awful?”

[From Blackbook Magazine]

That sucks about her naked photos. I must have missed them, because I don’t remember that being a thing at all…? Plus, Naomi has done nudity in other films too – memorably in Mulholland Drive and 21 Grams. After I saw Naomi in 21 Grams, I actually decided to stop watching her films for a while. Not that she was bad in it – she was very good – but she just plays such depressing characters, it’s like I’m suicidal after watching a Watts film. But then, the other day, I caught Eastern Promises on TV, and I ended up liking her again. She’s not even that great in the film, but Viggo Mortensen blew me away… sigh. VIGGO! Anyway, I am looking forward to Fair Game, so I’m sure I’ll see it in the theatres. That’s the one where Naomi plays Valerie Plame. Interesting factoid: Julia Roberts wanted to play Plame, but they gave it to Naomi. Chuckle.





Photos courtesy of Blackbook online.

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28 Responses to “Naomi Watts: Every single day, I second-guess myself as a mother”

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  1. lucy2 says:

    That does suck about the photos. Even though she’s done nude scenes before, I would think there’s a big difference between doing that for a film, and having photos of you put on a gross website.

    I think she’s very pretty too, but I think I know why no one ever recognizes her – without the makeup, she looks totally different.

    That photo with all the hands looks really cheesy to me for some reason.

  2. Jen Wind says:

    These pictures are pretty amazing…now that is how to do a photo shoot…note to Lindsay!

  3. Joan says:

    I have always been a fan of Naomi, even when she did really dumb films like Le Divorce and King Kong (sorry, hated it). She is so beautiful and down-to-earth. I love hearing her talk about her kids; I can definitely relate.

    Yeah, Perez is pretty bad for posting the photos but at least he did compliment her on looking so great only about 6 weeks postpartum.

    Thanks for posting the excerpts, Kaiser!

  4. Miranda Ann says:

    Those pictures look nothing like Naomi. It’s as if she’s trying to change her image and decided to do some S&M shots for her portfolio!! I don’t like them at all. I prefer her looking more natural. I’m a big fan even though I dislike most of the movies she’s in. She seems like a nice person.

    I have to say though that I get really, really tired of these actresses moaning and groaning about how it’s SOOO HARD to be an actress and a mother. What’s so hard about it? You are an actress when you act and a mother when you mother your babies. What’s the problem? It’s not like she has to work all day and rush to the daycare center before 6:00 to pick up the kids because they will charge you $10/hour after that and she really can’t afford that because the rent is due and she needs to pick up some milk and that extra $10 will really set her back!! I mean, seriously. Naomi has a nanny who takes care of her boys when she works and a husband who seems to be pretty hands on with them. Yes, she’s probably tired after working all day but so is every other working mother in the world. It’s just ridiculous for these actresses to sound so upset that they “can’t to it all” and they feel “guilty.” Christ on a stick, get over yourself!!!

    And, you know what, the only actress who doesn’t moan and groan about how hard it is to act and take care of her babies is Angelina Jolie; and she has SIX kids under eight and she never complains about feeling guilty (at least not in interviews). Perhaps it’s because Naomi seems to make movie after movie without taking much time off and Angelina only does one movie a year (on average) with months off in-between. Maybe Naomi should try that and maybe she won’t think she’s neglecting her babies or her career. (Evidently, she doesn’t care if she neglects Liev!!)

    P.S.: I’m not knocking Naomi. I like her. But, DAYUM, I’m really tired of these women complaining about their (privileged) lives.

  5. Jeri says:

    Love her, even in King Kong. She’s beautiful and seems to be the only person unaware of it. Liev’s a lucky guy.

  6. RHONYC says:

    “I am not reaching the same depths and heights that I used to reach in movies because I’m a parent of two small children who desperately need me.”


    golly, i guess this means no more smokin’ hot girl-on-girl action ala ‘mulholland drive’, huh?!

    damn, damn, damn those kids!!!

    partypoopers. :-(


  7. AC says:

    Joan… king kong you may not have liked but you have to admit she was ravishing in it (acting and looks wise) :-)

  8. pixiegirl says:

    LOVE her in I Heart Huckabees!!!

  9. danielle says:

    Saw her in the Ring (the movie scared the crap out of me) and honestly I was blown away by her acting in it. She managed to pull of brittle and selfish and hard and protective and vulnerable all at the same time. Plus being so gorgeous I was a little depressed.

  10. jen says:

    Is it not humorous to anyone else that she “second guesses herself as a mother” and yet this is posted next to a mother that PUTS LEOPARD PRINT HEELS ON HER 8 MONTH OLD!!!


  11. Shawna says:

    Miranda Ann, I’m totally with you about the privileged stuff. I’m sure she genuinely feels torn, but you’re right to suggest that her comments ignore a broader situation that she’s being insensitive about.

    But I love the shoot. I think she looks great.

  12. beardreader says:

    I just want to say that I hate when Australians/NZders are quoted as saying ‘Mom’ and when Americans are quoted as saying ‘Mum’ in magazines. Get it RIGHT! ffs it doesn’t sound right in me brains.

  13. Camille says:

    Gorgeous, classy woman, I like her and she gave a good interview here.

  14. Aussie Mama says:

    You should, especially with your hand over your eye, with that subliminal (triangle)pyramid over it, on the cover of the mag, letting everybody know who you are, who you have sold your soul to for fame. It’s just a matter of time until they want you to sacrifice something big for it all Naomi. I hope it’s all worth it.

  15. Ana says:

    I never realized how skinny she is. Her hips are so tiny! Her thighs in the picture of her of on the stool is so thin!
    I feel fat.

  16. canadianchick says:

    @ana she was probably photochopped.

    Love the photoshoot, I do agree, I pace myself with her flicks or otherwise I’m depressed after.

  17. Sumodo1 says:

    She should always work with David Lynch! Love her. Love Liev.

  18. Mistral says:

    She looks great. And Eastern Promises was a really fantastic movie…

  19. Crash2GO2 says:

    Come on ladies, it’s all perspective. Of course she can’t totally forget herself on set – life is never the same after children and anyone who has them knows it.

    AJ doesn’t come CLOSE to playing the depth of character that Naomi does. That’s why you don’t hear her complaining – she shows up, throws a few poses and cutting looks and she’s done.

  20. Caan says:

    I agree Crash. She does really emotionally challenging stuff. I don’t think you can just turn it on and off so easily. Sean Penn once said that being an actor is tough because it tears you up inside. I think that was after “Dead Man Walking”.

  21. Wif says:

    Yeah, I’m a community actress, and I tell you, even at this low level (in comparison to what she does) having kids has totally screwed with my creative process. You just can’t be at home swirling in your own mind developing your character with someone at your knees wanting a hug. It just doesn’t work. But then, when you take that time, it strikes you that all this heady exploration of your emotions is narcissitic and self-serving when there are people in the living room who just want to love you for you. It’s a tricky craft to pair with parenthood.

    That said, thanks Miranda Ann for the reality check.

  22. Joan says:

    @ AC -
    Yes, she was stunning in King Kong, I will say. I loved the wavy hairstyle on her!
    I am interested to see if they are still going to do a re-make of The Birds with Naomi. Although I don’t think it’s a good idea to mess with a classic, Naomi gives much justice to the beautiful Tippi Hedren, whose roll she would be filling!

  23. Granger says:

    I agree, Miranda Ann. I do not doubt for one minute that celebrity moms feel just as much guilt and are just as torn between two worlds as “regular” working moms, but it is so annoying when they complain. My biggest thing is that, YES, they still have to be mothers — but do they also have to be cooks, grocery-shoppers, housekeepers, and errand-runners? NO. They are fortunate to be able to hire people to clean their toilets, do their laundry, and make their meals — which means that when they ARE home with their children, they are actually WITH their children. It makes a world of difference, in my opinion, because it’s the little, mundane, daily tasks like laundry and cleaning that add to a mother’s stress and guilt.

  24. nona says:

    Beautiful woman and beautiful photos.

    But why sharing such intimate thoughts? Some celebrities speak to magazines as if they were in the shrink’s couch.

    They all complain about lack of privacy but they are more than happy to trade it for a cover.

    I still think she is the best,though! :)

  25. Jamie says:

    has anyone noticed the black and white photo of her sitting on a stool. Look at her shadows arms and then look and hers. Be sure to look at both arms. Hmmmmm? Thoughts?

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