Watts has all the
qualities, and indeed is already a great star. To me, she
combines the best qualities of Olivia Newton-John and Nicole
Kidman (also Australian) and brings them all together is a fresh
face with absolute believability.
was born on September 28, 1968 in Shoreham, West Sussex,
England, where she lived until 8 years old. She is an
English-Australian actress and producer. Her parents,
Peter and Myfanwy Watts had separated when she was four.
Then when she was just seven her father died. Following
her father's death, her mother relocated the family to the town
of Llangefni (more specifically Llanfawr Farm, a district of
Llangefni), in Northern Wales, where they lived with Naomi's
grandparents, Hugh and Nikki Roberts. Although her mother
occasionally moved the family around Wales and England, usually
to follow boyfriends, she always ended up returning to Llangefni.
She lived there until she was 14.
Watts as Ann Darrow in King King
during a trip to Australia, her mother became convinced that
there was "the land of opportunities" and moved the
family to Sydney in 1982. Her grandmother, Nikki, was
Australian, which made it easier to obtain the documentation
necessary, since Naomi and her family were entitled to
father was a sound engineer with Pink Floyd and her mother is
described by Watts as a hippie "with passive-aggressive
tendencies" who used to threaten to send her and her
brother to foster care in order to convince her grandparents to
take care of the family, since her mother had no money after her
Sydney, she attended several acting schools (and in the very
first lesson in the first school, she met Nicole Kidman, with
whom she shared a taxi home from class). In 1986 she took a
break from acting and went to Japan to work as a model, but the
experience was fruitless, and Watts describes it as one of the
worst periods of her life, which lasted for about four months.
Upon returning to Australia, Watts went to work for a local
department store and from there she went to work as assistant
fashion editor with an Australian fashion magazine. She only
returned to acting when a casual invitation from a colleague to
participate in a small play rekindled her passion for the scenic
arts and prompted her to quit her job and dedicate herself
completely to making it as an actress.
first appeared in television commercials and then the drama
series Home and Away in 1988 in the role of Julie Gibson.
Her first big break came with the 1995 movie Tank Girl
with the part of Jet Girl.
2001, Watts appeared in David Lynch's Mulholland Drive, a
performance which won high praise. The quality and size of
Watts' roles improved after Mulholland Drive, and she
starred in the highly successful US remake of The Ring, a
Japanese horror movie. In 2004 she received an Academy Award
nomination for Best Actress for her performance in the film 21
she had been acting for more than fifteen years, Naomi Watts
broke through to stardom when she was tapped by David Lynch to
portray an aspiring starlet in "Mulholland Drive"
(2001), his darkly nightmarish vision of Los Angeles. Originally
made as a pilot for a projected television series, the film
found a second life when producer Alain Sarde and StudioCanal
joined forces to provide funding for Lynch to re-imagine his
vision as a feature film. After its premiere at Cannes, "Mulholland
Drive" went on to confound or captivate critics and
audiences, but nearly all were certain that Watts emerged as an
actress of force and presence.
Watts at the Oscars 2004
leggy blonde suffered the trauma of losing her father when she
was only ten years old. Four years later, she relocated to
Australia with her mom and began to study acting. Eventually,
she began going on auditions (at one she met her best friend
Nicole Kidman) and landed her first film role in "For Love
Alone" (1986). Watts enjoyed her first substantial part
alongside best pal Kidman in "Flirting" (1991), the
John Duigan-directed sequel to "The Year My Voice
Broke". Cast as a snobby schoolgirl, the teen actress made
an impression and her career was born. Watts went on to co-star
with Oscar-winner Brenda Fricker, Josephine Byrnes, Kym Wilson
and a young Russell Crowe in the Australian miniseries
"Brides of Christ" (1991). Duigan tapped her once
again when he cast her in a supporting role in "Wide
Sargasso Sea" (1992). Moving to the USA, Watts acted in her
first Hollywood movie, the comedy "Matinee" (also
1992) in a bit role as an aspiring movie star. She enjoyed a
cult hit as Jet Girl in the film adaptation of the comic book
"Tank Girl" (1995) but box-office success and that
seminal role to catapult her to stardom still eluded her.
appeared in a string of TV productions of varying quality, from
the "Hallmark Hall of Fame" drama
"Timepiece" (CBS, 1995) to the failed 1997 NBC series
"Sleepwalkers" to the above average miniseries
"The Hunt for the Unicorn Killer" (CBS, 1999). Between
small screen gigs, the actress was cast as the wife of a
Venetian nobleman in "Dangerous Beauty/Destiny of Her
Own" (1998) and as a fragile, morally upright young woman
in "Strange Planet" (1999), Emma-Kate Croghan's
ensemble film about a group of friends struggling to cope with
modern life. Watts was then cast in what was hoped would be her
breakthrough, an ABC TV series created by and directed by David
Lynch. Although the network passed on the quirky drama, Lynch
was able to shoot additional material and create a strange,
trippy picture that painted a dark look at the dream factory of
Hollywood. Indeed her dual role as perky wannabe Betty Elms and
the cynical Diane Selwyn provided Watts with rich and complex
material that she skillfully handled. If anyone had any doubts
about her capabilities, one scene in particular clinched it:
Betty auditions for a movie role and while the dialogue is
trite, her reactions to her scene partner (Chad Everett) and her
approach to the part allowed Watts to play many layers and moods
at once. That astonishing scene alone made critics and audience
displayed a similar charisma in the Sundance-screened short
"Ellie Parker" (2001), about an Australian actress
trying to carve a career in L.A. Having to switch gears from
auditioning for the role of a Southern belle to trying out for
the part of a street junkie, she displayed her amazing range and
prodigious talent. Casting agents and directors began to take
notice following this one-two punch and Watts found herself
being offered choice roles. She starred as a frontier widow who
harbors an outlaw in the Showtime original "The
Outsider" (lensed 2001) and played a TV newswoman
investigating a rash of elevator accidents in "Down"
(2001). After the rush of attention following "Mulholland
Drive," Watts effectively kept herself in the public eye
thanks to two high-profile relationships: one with her longtime
friend Nicole Kidman, whose constant shows of support added
luster to Watts' rising star; and a romantic relationship with
up-and-coming heartthrob Heath Ledger, which captivated the
paparazzi. But she continued to deliver the goods on-screen as
wells, delivering a strong, emotional performance in her first
mainstream star vehicle, the haunted high-tech thriller
"The Ring" (2002), playing an investigative journalist
and single mom who discovers a cursed videotape. The film
established her firmly as a bankable star, and she returned to
give an equally strong central performance in the otherwise less
inspired 2005 sequel "The Ring 2."
Watts in the protective grasp of Kong
was equally good in the relaxed, sophistacted Merchant-Ivory
production of Diane Johnson's bestselling novel "Le
Divorce" (2003), playing an aspiring American poetess in
contemporary Paris who is abandoned by her husband, a French
scoundrel who jilts her while she's pregnant. Once again Watts'
enviable ability to conjure genuine, heart-rendering emotion
served her well in the role. The actress successfully reinvented
herself yet again in the brooding drama "21 Grams"
(2003), playing a reformed party girl who slips back into her
self-abasing ways after losing her family in a car accident.
With that performance Watts found herself at the center of much
critical acclaim and awards buzz, and earned her first Oscar
nomination as Best Actress.
immediate post-Oscar entries included the little-seen,
long-delayed Aussie crime drama about legendary bankrobber
"Ned Kelly" (2004), which paired her to surprisingly
little effect with Ledger; and the unremarkable indie drama
"We Don't Live Here Anymore" (2004), in which she
played one of two academic, suburban couples who
self-destructively enter into extramarital affairs with their
neighbors' spouses. She then assumed a a role that Kidman
couldn't fit into her schedule (and one that Gwyneth Paltrow had
already vacated) when she appeared in writer-director David O.
Russell's fourth feature "I [Heart] Huckabees" (2004),
an "exisitential comedy" exploring the spirtual lives
of a group of people involved with a department store called
played Dawn, the store's lovely spokesmodel, who is ultimately
pushed to the breaking point by the complications spinning out
of her sheer physical beauty. She followed up with a brief
supporting turn in "The Assassination of Richard
Nixon" (2004) as the long-suffering waitress ex-wife of a
man (Sean Penn) slowly descending into a madness that will lead
to an attempted attack on the White House. Less satisfying was
"Stay" (2005), director Marc Forster's ambitious but
murky psychological thriller as the girlfriend of a shrink (Ewan
McGregor) whose suicidal patient somehow begins invading his
dreams and blurring the lines of their realities and
individualities, including their relationship. Her next film,
"Ellie Parker" (2005) was an intriguing experimental
curiosity: in 2001 writer-director Steve Coffey shot Watts with
a handheld digital video camera for a 16-minute short, which
cast the actress as a young actress trying to protect and
nurture her talent in heartless Hollywood. Over the ensuring
years Watts and Coffey would reunite whenever they could find a
free day together and add new sequences to Ellie's story, until
he finally had a full film for release in 2005. Watts then took
on a project of much bigger proportaions, cast in the Fay Raye
role of Ann Darrow for director Peter Jackson's long-dreamt-of,
much anticipated remake of "King Kong."
Watts - Model
09/28/68 in Shoreham, England
At age 14, relocated to Australia with mother and stepfather
Film acting debut, "For Love Alone"
Co-starred as a snobbish schoolgirl in the Australian film
"Flirting"; first collaboration with director John
Had featured role in the Australian TV miniseries
"Brides of Christ"; aired on A&E in the USA in
Had regular role on the Australian serial "Home and
Made first Hollywood film, "Matinee"
Reteamed with Duigan in "Wide Sargasso Sea"
Had cult hit as Jet Girl in "Tank Girl"
TV series debut in "Sleepwalkers", a short-lived
Was featured in "Dangerous Beauty"
Portrayed the murder victim in the based-on-fact CBS drama
"The Hunt for the Unicorn Killer"
Returned to Australia to co-star in "Strange
Had lead in the British TV drama "The Wyvern
Played title role in the independent feature "Ellie
Parker"; also co-produced
Portrayed a TV newswoman investigating mysterious elevator
accidents in NYC in "Down"
Starred as an aspiring starlet in Hollywood in "Mulholland
Dr.", directed by David Lynch; originally shot as a
pilot for ABC, project went back into production; with
additional footage was premiered at Cannes
Cast as reporter out to break a curse in the thriller
Co-starred with Brenda Blethyn and Alfred Molina in the
comedy "Plots with a View"
Had lead role as a widow who takes in a gunslinger in the
Showtime period Western "The Outsider"
Cast as Kate Hudson's sister in the James Ivory-directed
adapatation of the Diane Johnson novel "Le
Divorce" (lensed 2002)
Starred with Sean Penn and Benicio Del Toro in "21
Grams"; earned a SAG nomination for Best Actress;
received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress
Cast alongside boyfriend Heath Ledger and fellow Aussies
Orlando Bloom, Geoffrey Rush and Rachel Griffiths in
Australian true-crime drama "The Kelly Gang" aka
Cast as Dawn Campbell the spokesmodel girlfriend of Brad
Stand (Jude Law), in David O Russell's "I Heart
Co-starred with Mark Ruffalo, Laura Dern and Peter Krause in
"We Don't Live Here Anymore" based on the short
story by Andre Dubus; screened at Sundance
Reunited with Sean Penn to star in "The Assassination
of Richard Nixon" Niels Mueller wrote and directed
Reprised her role of reporter Rachel Keller in "The
Ring Two" directed by Hideo Nakata
in Shoreham, England
star in Peter Jackson's "King Kong"
cast of King King
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