Naomi Ellen Watts is an English actress and film producer. She made her screen debut in the Australian drama film For Love Alone and then appeared in the Australian television series Hey Dad! Brides of Christ and Home and Away and alongside Nicole Kidman and Thandie Newton in the coming-of-age comedy-drama film Flirting.
After moving to America, Watts appeared in films, including Tank Gir, Children of the Corn IV: The Gathering and Dangerous Beauty had the lead role in the television series Sleepwalkers.
Naomi Watts Background
Watts was born on 28 September 1968, in Shoreham, Kent, England. She is the daughter of Myfanwy (“Miv”) Edwards (née Roberts), an antiques dealer and costume and set designer, Peter Watts (1946–1976), a road manager and sound engineer who worked with Pink Floyd. Miv was born in England but lived in Australia between the ages of one and seven. Watts’ maternal grandfather was Welsh and her maternal grandmother was Australian.
Watts’ parents divorced when she was four years old. After the divorce, Watts and her elder brother, Ben Watts, moved several times across South East England with their mother. Peter Watts left Pink Floyd in 1974, and he and Myfanwy were later reconciled. Two years later, in August 1976, he was found dead in a flat in Notting Hill, of an apparent heroin overdose.
Following his death, Watts’ mother moved the family to Llanfawr Farm in Llangefni and Llanfairpwllgwyngyll, towns on the island of Anglesey in North Wales, where they lived with Watts’ maternal grandparents, Nikki and Hugh Roberts, for three years. During this time, Watts attended a Welsh language school, Ysgol Gyfun Llangefni. She later said of her time in Wales: “We took Welsh lessons in a school in the middle of nowhere while everyone else was taking English. Wherever we moved, I would adapt and pick up the regional accent.
It’s obviously significant now, me being an actress. Anyway, there was quite a lot of sadness in my childhood, but no lack of love.” In 1978, her mother remarried (though she would later be divorced again) and Watts and her brother then moved to Suffolk, where she attended Thomas Mills High School. Watts has stated that she wanted to become an actress after seeing her mother performing on stage and from the time she watched the 1980 film Fame.
In 1982, when Watts was 14, she moved to Sydney, New South Wales in Australia with her mother, brother and stepfather. Myfanwy established a career in the burgeoning film business, working as a stylist for television commercials, then turning to costume design, ultimately working for the soap opera Return to Eden. After emigrating, Watts was enrolled in acting lessons by her mother; she auditioned for numerous television advertisements, where she met and befriended actress Nicole Kidman. Watts obtained her first role in the 1986 drama film, For Love Alone, based on the novel of the same name by Christina Stead and produced by Margaret Fink.
Naomi Watts Career
Watts’ career began in television where she made brief appearances in commercials. The 1986 film For Love Alone, set in the 1930s and based on Christina Stead’s 1945 best-selling novel of the same name, marked her debut in film. She then appeared in two episodes of the fourth season of the Australian sitcom Hey Dad..! in 1990.
After a five-year absence from films, Watts met director John Duigan during the 1989 premiere of her friend Nicole Kidman’s film Dead Calm and he invited her to take a supporting role in his 1991 indie film Flirting. She starred opposite future Hollywood up-and-comers Kidman and Thandie Newton.
The film received critical acclaim and was featured on Roger Ebert’s list of the 10 best films of 1992. Also in 1991, she took the part of Frances Heffernan, a girl who struggles to find friends behind the walls of a Sydney Catholic school, in the award-winning mini-series Brides of Christ and had a recurring role in the soap opera Home and Away as the handicapped Julie Gibson. Watts was then offered a role in the drama series A Country Practice but turned it down, not wanting to “get stuck on a soap for two or three years”, a decision she later called “naïve”.
In 1993, she had a small role in the John Goodman film Matinee and temporarily returned to Australia to star in three Australian films: another of Duigan’s pictures, Wide Sargasso Sea; the drama The Custodian; and had her first leading role in the film Gross Misconduct, as a student who accuses one of her teachers (played by Jimmy Smits) of raping her.
She then won a supporting role in the futuristic 1995 film Tank Girl, winning the role of “Jet Girl” after nine auditions. While the film was met with mixed reviews, it flopped at the box office, although it has gone on to become something of a cult classic. Throughout the rest of the decade, she took mostly supporting roles in films and occasionally considered leaving the business, but: “there were always little bites.
In 1996, she starred alongside Joe Mantegna, Kelly Lynch and J.T. Walsh in George Hickenlooper’s action-thriller Persons Unknown; alongside James Earl Jones, Kevin Kilner and Ellen Burstyn in the period drama Timepiece; in Bermuda Triangle, a TV pilot that was not picked up for a full series, where she played a former documentary filmmaker who disappears in the Bermuda Triangle; and as the lead role in Children of the Corn IV: The Gathering, in which children in a small town become possessed under the command of a wrongfully murdered child preacher.
In 1997, she starred in the Australian ensemble romantic drama Under the Lighthouse Dancing and also played the lead role in the short-lived television series Sleepwalkers. In 1998, she starred alongside Neil Patrick Harris and Debbie Reynolds in the TV film The Christmas Wish, played the supporting role of Giulia De Lezze in Dangerous Beauty and provided some voice work for Babe: Pig in the City.
In 2000, while David Lynch was expanding the rejected pilot of Mulholland Drive into a feature film, Watts starred alongside Derek Jacobi, Jack Davenport and Iain Glen in the BBC TV film The Wyvern Mystery, an adaptation of the novel of the same name by Sheridan Le Fanu that was broadcast in March of that year.
In 2016, she headlined the thriller Shut In, playing a psychologist insolated with her child in a rural house during a winter storm. The film received largely negative reviews and made US$8 million worldwide.
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Naomi Watts Movies
- The Book Of Henry
- While We’re Young
- While We’re Young
- Movie 43
- St. Vincent
- Dream House
- J. Edgar
- You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger
- Fair Game
- The International
- Funny Games
- Eastern Promises
- The Painted Veil
- The Ring Two
- Ellie Parker
- King Kong
- We Don’t Live Here Anymore
- I Heart Huckabees
- The Assassination Of Richard Nixon
- Le Divorce
- 21 Grams
- The Ring
- Ned Kelly
- Mulholland Dr.
- The Shaft
- Strange Planet
- Dangerous Beauty
- Babe: Pig In The City
- Children Of The Corn: The Gathering
- Tank Girl
- The Custodian
- Gross Misconduct
- Wide Sargasso Sea