The Dark Side
Naomi Watts may hold a passion for drama on the dark side, but she does do her characters justice. After 10 years of "paying her dues", Naomi hit the big time with roles like Betty Elms/Diane Selwyn in David Lynch's Mulholland Dr. (2001) and Rachel Keller in the blockbuster horror flick The Ring (2002). Naomi has even shared the spotlight with genius-actor Sean Pean twice, first in the well-received drama 21 Grams (2003), for which she earned her first Oscar nomination, and The Assassination of Richard Nixon (2004).
Naomi is hitting it big, and I do mean big. Set to be the next love interest of that giant of an ape, King Kong (2005), and to star in The Ring Two (2005), Naomi is sure to give her audiences what they crave, chills and thrills.
However you view her career, with such heavyweights as Penn and Kong by her side, Naomi just might keep a clear view from the top.
"I get offered some things without auditioning today, but back then they wouldn't even fax me the pages. I had to drive for
hours into the Valley to pick up three bits of paper for some
horrendous piece of shit, then go back the next day and line up for two hours to meet the casting director who would barely give me eye contact. It was humiliating." Naomi Watts, Interview magazine, November 2001
"On set is where I feel comfortable. The red carpet stuff, talking about the film, explaining your own life, it doesn't come naturally. It's all necessary stuff I suppose but it's not my strength." Naomi Watts
"I find myself gravitating towards drama. It interests me. In the
books I read, the paintings I like, it's always the darker stuff." Naomi Watts
Childhood and Family:
Pretty Naomi Watts was born on September 28, 1968 in Shoreham, England. Her father, Peter Watts, died when Naomi was just 7 years old and had been the sound engineer for the popular musical group Pink Floyd. Her mother, Miv, continued to raise Naomi and Naomi's brother, Benjamin Watts. The small family lived in England before moving to Australia when Naomi was a young teenager. Naomi studied acting in school and during one of her many auditions met her best friend, Australian actress Nicole Kidman.
Before Naomi's acting career really began to take off, she worked as a fashion editor for Australia's Follow Me magazine. "It was total naivety that got me to Hollywood. I thought it was going to happen straight away. I told myself 'give it 5 years, there's no way I'll be here after that if it doesn't happen'. Cut to ten years later!" Naomi Watts
"For the record, I am actually British as well as Australian. People
always think I'm Australian but I'm happy for the Brits to claim me back. I'm offering myself up." Naomi Watts
Paying Her Dues
Perhaps best known as Betty Elms/Diane Selwyn in the thriller Mulholland Dr. (2001) and Rachel Keller in horror film The Ring (2002), Naomi Watts has a long list of films to her credit. Small roles in such movies as For Love Alone (1986), Flirting (1991), Matinee (1993), Wide Sargasso Sea (1993), and television's Home and Away (1988) and "Brides of Christ (1991), may not have received much recognition for the actress, but they kept her working. In Gross Misconduct (1993) Naomi took on lead character Jennifer Carter, while The Custodian (1993) placed her a bit farther down the cast-billing food chain. Some of her other less noteworthy work includes Tank Girl (1995), Children of the Corn IV: The Gathering (1996), Persons Unknown (1996), Under the Lighthouse Dancing (1997), Dangerous Beauty (1998), A House Divided (1998), Strange Planet (1999), Ellie Parker (2001) and Down (2001).
Naomi also paid dues to television. With characters in TV's Bermuda Triangle (1996), Timepiece (1996), Sleepwalkers (1997), The Christmas Wish (1998), The Hunt for the Unicorn Killer (1999) and The Wyvern Mystery (2000) one feels Naomi deserved a break.
The Ring and Mulholland Dr. may have caught our attention, but Naomi's well-deserved popularity resulted from good acting, keeping us there. Good things come to good actors and Naomi's credits flourished with revived life. With roles in Nick Hurran's Plots with a View (2002), TV's The Outsider (2002), Rabbits (2002), Ned Kelly (2003) starring Heath Ledger and Orlando Bloom, Le Divorce (2003), the impressive 21 Grams (2003) also starring Sean Penn, We Don't Live Here Anymore (2004), The Assassination of Richard Nixon (2004) where Naomi again finds herself beside actor Sean Penn and I Heart Huckabees (2004), chances are no one is soon to forget Naomi's name.
In 2005 Naomi and others paired with Chevy Chase to create the comedy
Ellie Parker and audiences await the revival of Rachel Keller in The Ring Two (2005). Stay, also starring Ewan McGregor, will be released
sometime in 2005 and one can look forward to yet another expedition to find that giant ape in King Kong, due out sometime later in the same
2002: ShoWest Award: Female Star of Tomorrow