Naomi Ellen Watts (born 28 September 1968) is a British-Australian actress and occasional producer.
Born in Shoreham, Kent in the UK and raised in Australia before moving to America, Watts struggled in the movie scene for some time, taking on small roles in films she has since admitted were "shit" to pay the rent, before being cast by David Lynch in the lead role for his project Mulholland Dr..
Her performance as Betty Elms/Diane Selwyn won critical acclaim and the attention of some major players in Hollywood and beyond. She has since enjoyed success in a far greater choice of film roles, balancing her resume with box-office successes like Gore Verbinski's 2002 remake of the Japanese horror film Ringu and deeper roles in indie films such as 2003's 21 Grams, which earned her an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress that many felt was long overdue.
In addition, Watts had a relationship with Heath Ledger (she allegedly had to talk him into starring in Brokeback Mountain) from August 2002 to May 2004 before breaking up with him in 2005. She then met and began a relationship with actor Liev Schreiber in the spring of 2005; they had two children together and eventually broke up in the fall of 2016. In 2017, she began dating her Gypsy co-star Billy Crudup, eventually marrying in June 2023.
Films in which she appeared with pages on this wiki:
- Matinee (1993) as Shopping Cart Starlet
- Tank Girl (1995) as Jet Girl
- Children of the Corn IV: The Gathering (1996) as Grace Rhodes
- Dangerous Beauty (1998) as Giulia De Lezze
- Mulholland Dr. (2001) as Betty Elms / Diane Selwyn
- The Ring (2002) as Rachel Keller
- The Ring Two (2005)
- 21 Grams (2003) as Cristina Peck (Academy Award nominated for Best Actress)
- Ned Kelly (2003) as Julia Cook
- I ♥ Huckabees (2004) as Dawn Campbell
- King Kong (2005) as Ann Darrow
- Stay (2005) as Lila Culpeper
- Inland Empire (2006) as Susie
- The Painted Veil (2006) as Kitty Fane
- Eastern Promises (2007) as Anna Khitrova
- Funny Games (2007) as Ann Farber
- The International (2009) as Eleanor Whitman
- Mother and Child (2009) as Elizabeth
- Dream House (2011) as Ann Patterson
- J. Edgar (2011) as Helen Gandy
- The Impossible (2012) as Maria Bennett (Academy Award nominated for Best Actress)
- Movie 43 (2013) as Samantha
- Diana (2013) as Lady Diana Spencer
- Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014) as Lesley Truman
- 3 Generations (2015) as Maggie
- The Sea of Trees (2015) as Joan Brennan
- Divergent film series (2015-2016) as Evelyn
- Shut In (2016) as Mary Portman
- The Book of Henry (2017) as Susan Carpenter
- Gypsy (2017) as Jean Holloway
- Twin Peaks (2017) as Janey-E Jones
- Ophelia (2018)note as Gertrude, Mechtild
- Boss Level (2021) as Jemma Wells
- Infinite Storm (2022) as Pam Bales
Tropes found in her work include:
- Actor Allusion: She's played a struggling actress in LA twice - in Mulholland Dr. and Ellie Parker. In Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), she played a struggling actress on Broadway instead, just to mix it up.
- Break the Cutie: She's subjected to a lot of it in her films. Her character in The Impossible gets swept up in a tsunami, almost drowns, winds up with major open wounds in her leg which then get infected, and spends much of the film believing that her husband and two of her sons have drowned. One reviewer referred to it as "The Passion of Naomi Watts".
- Covers Always Lie: After she became a success with Mulholland Drive and The Ring, one of her earlier and, well, not quite as good, films The Shaft was released on DVD with packaging that leads one to believe that she's the star, when she's really the protagonist's sidekick/love interest.
- Large Ham:
- Lipstick Lesbian: She plays one in Mulholland Dr., although the events as shown are purposefully opaque.
- Ms. Fanservice: Even when her character is modestly clothed, her films always find ways to subject her for a Male Gaze. Her character in I ♥ Huckabees is a model for the titular company and thus spends much of her screen time half-naked. However, near the end she undergoes an awakening and spends the rest of the film wearing baggy overalls and a bonnet, leaving Fuckabe-uh, Huckabees; and King Kong (2005) in particular made a lot of effort to give her a chunk of Leg Focus and Foot Focus, all while wearing a silk slip for a good portion of the movie.
- Prefers Going Barefoot: She goes barefoot in many of her movies (perhaps most notably in King Kong) and quite frequently in real life. On an episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live!, she even explicitly mentions that she doesn’t understand how women wear high heels every day. She then gleefully takes off her shoes and does the remainder of the interview in her bare feet.
- Remake: She's been in The Ring, King Kong (2005), The Painted Veil and Funny Games.