On The Impossible director Juan Antonio Bayona: “I absolutely loved working with him. It was clear to me in our first meeting that he’s just full of passion, with this his story in particular. He did a huge amount of preparation. . . . His research was extensive. He and his producer showed me so much material, and the way they spoke about it, more importantly, I could feel how deeply connected they were with it, and with Maria, the woman who I play, and how important it was to tell her story with the utmost truth and never deviating from it. Basically everything you saw on the screen was blow-by-blow what happened to her and her family. Despite the fact that he came from genre film, while he honors that a little bit, he’s still staying very close to the truth and not creating things for shock or entertainment value. He’s one of the most exciting directors I’ve worked with, and I see incredible things coming from him.”
On her fellow Australian nominees this year: “It’s a great year for Australia! Very exciting. I’ve only seen Jacki [Weaver] once, but I’ve seen quite a bit of Hugh [Jackman], and it really does become exciting when you see fellow actors achieving this kind of recognition and you just sort of pinch each other and say, ‘Look at this — is this really happening?’”
On whether she’s been preparing for the Oscars: “No on the Oscar preparation! In fact, I just arrived here and saw those gold statues and thought, ‘Oh, wow. This is really a flashback.’ It’s the first time it hit home that it’s actually happened.”
On being the only person from The Impossible to receive an Oscar nomination: “A lot of people went unrecognized. I don’t know why that happened. Maybe not enough people have seen the film.”
- Buzz Sugar
THR’s Oscar Icons Portfolio: Steven Spielberg, Eva Marie Saint, Michael Moore
Contenders past and present — Spielberg with Benh Zeitlin, Marlee Matlin with Quvenzhane Wallis — swap tales about their biggest awards night fears (giving birth onstage!) to how winning changed their lives.
This story first appeared in the March 1 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
When The Hollywood Reporter gathered Oscar contenders past and present to pose for our cameras, there was a great deal of mutual admiration on display.
Beasts of the Southern Wild’s Quvenzhane Wallis gushed to Marlee Matlin, “You’re so pretty!” And the Children of a Lesser God winner praised the 9-year-old actress’ “raw and natural” performance.
The Oscar veterans also shared words of wisdom and swapped anecdotes with some of the awards-season newcomers. Steven Spielberg, who has earned a total of 15 nominations (with three wins), reminisced about his first nomination to Beasts of the Southern Wild director Benh Zeitlin, “When you look back over the hundred years of Hollywood, and the 80-plus years of the Academy, you realize that just being there is such an accomplishment.”
Nicole Kidman, the best actress Oscar winner in 2002 has said that she doesn’t want Oscar favourite Jennifer Lawrence to win the award, instead plumping for pal Naomi Watts and Emmanuelle Riva as joint winners come the awards on Saturday.
Speaking at the gala screening of her new movie the actress revealed that she wants to see the pair grab the joint honours, despite most Oscar watchers thinking that the battle will be between Silver Linings Playbook star Jen and Zero Dark Thirty’s Jessica Chastain.
“Oh Naomi, I’d like it to be a double winner because I’d love to see Emmanuelle Riva [win] because I think it’s her 86th birthday but I’d like to see Nay win as well, but I’d like it to be the first time in history that it’s a complete tie,” Nicole told EntertainmentWise.
Oscars 2013: Great Performances
For this year’s Great Performances portfolio, TIME asked fashion photographer Paola Kudacki to take portraits of 11 actors, all of whom appeared in 2012 films that captured key moments in history, and several of whom portrayed real-life people.
“It’s always interesting to meet actors who are completely different than the characters they play,” Kudacki told TIME. A guiding philosophy in her portrait work is to show a side of each actor as he or she truly is. The goal is to find “the moment of ultimate intimacy,” she says. “It’s about making each of your subjects comfortable. You have to become their confidante, instantly, to get them to relax in front of the camera.”
While conversations between photographer and subject are important to create a rapport, Kudacki also made up fictional characters and situations for each participant to play during the shoot. “For actors, used to playing a specific role, I hoped this would help them relax,” she said. In making the roles their own, the actors might also reveal something about themselves. “Like the first time I developed my own film,” she says, “capturing these characters in camera is like turning fantasy into reality.”
Performance: Maria Belon in The Impossible (Oscar nomination, Best Actress)
“She was so expressive and so detailed in everything she went through,” says Watts of Maria Belon, a survivor of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. “And everything she did go through is, blow by blow, what’s up there on the screen.”
Naomi Watts on acting “The Impossible”
With the Oscars just two weeks away, Lee Cowan meets with Best Actress nominee Naomi Watts . . . THE ENVELOPE PLEASE:
It ranks among the deadliest natural disasters in recorded history.
On December 26, 2004, a massive tsunami tore across Southeast Asia, killing some 230,000 people.
The world sat stunned — anxious to help, but largely helpless from so far away. At least that’s how actress Naomi Watts felt.
“Just remember turning on the TV and being glued to it, but I still felt like — it felt like a long way away.”
A long away away, until Watts traveled to the once-battered coastline of Thailand to begin filming a movie ABOUT the tsunami, appropriately titled, “The Impossible.”
Her realistic performance of a real-life event now has her in the running for an Oscar.
It’s a true story, based on Maria Belon and her family, vacationing from Spain when the tsunami hit.
Miraculously, she, her husband, and all three of her children survived the tsunami, and returned to Spain.
“I was there, I was under the water, I was struggling,” Belon said. “You feel thousands of things at the same time in a very, very strong way.”
To kick off Oscar weekend, we have a beautiful and vibrant new layout! This one was made for us by Flor, and I think she did a great job in coming up with something that is a nice contrast to our previous layout. We opted to use photos from Naomi’s recent Angeleno/Manhattan magazine photoshoot because Naomi looks especially pretty in them.
You will notice a new segment on our sidebar entitle ‘We <3 Naomi!‘ – I thought it would be fun to spotlight various testimonials about Naomi from other celebrities, and from you fans, because she’s been getting a lot of love recently. If you’d like to see your reasons for loving Naomi in this segment then just follow the link there to submit.
You will also notice a new option for ‘Career‘ on the navigation above – I decided to create a separate section for information on Naomi’s career so it’s a bit more organised and so we can have more pages on her work that are easier to find. This section will be built up over time to provide an in depth look at her professional work, from films to adverts to producing.
I hope you enjoy our new layout as much as I do – don’t hesitate to leave a comment with your feedback!
Hello Naomi fans! Things have been super busy offline for me recently hence the lack of updates here, so I apologise for that. I have now found time to get everything caught up here, and have added around 200 photos from the recent events Naomi has attended. She’s been quite busy continuing her awards season promotion, attending the Academy Award Nominees Luncheon, celebrating her friend Simon Baker receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame, and walking the red carpet at some Hollywood parties. I really love the photos of her and Simon Baker at his Walk Of Fame Ceremony – she looks really happy for him, and it’s nice to see her supporting him like this! (Some people may wonder why Naomi hasn’t been given a star on the Walk Of Fame yet and I will explain – agents/’official people’ need to apply for their celebrity to be considered for a star, so we can presume Naomi and her people haven’t wanted to do this yet, which is understandable given how low key Naomi likes to keep). Thanks goes to DeA for the Walk Of Fame HQs!
Enjoy browsing through all the new photos in the Gallery, and check back over the weekend for more – culminating in the Oscars tomorrow night!!!
• “Escape From Planet Earth” Premiere x3
• Academy Award Nominees Luncheon x41
• The Hollywood Reporter Nominees’ Night 2013 x35
• Visual Effects Society Awards x14
• Conde Nast Traveler Celebrates The Leading Hotels Of The World 85th Anniversary x5
• Simon Baker Honoured With Star On The Hollywood Walk Of Fame x86
• Bvlgari Celebrates Elizabeth Taylor’s Magnificent Collection Of Bvlgari Jewelry x28
Eva Marie Saint Praises Naomi Watts’ ‘Impossible’ Performance
The Oscar winner for 1954’s “On the Waterfront” tells THR earlier awards seasons were less hyped than they are today.
Screen legend Eva Marie Saint has a high opinion of Naomi Watts and her Oscar-nominated turn in The Impossible.
Sitting next to Watts, Saint recalled watching the film with her husband, director Jeffrey Hayden.
“I’m into that movie. It’s a beautifully, beautifully directed movie,” Saint said of the film, which also stars Ewan McGregor and centers on a family ripped apart during the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.
She also reminisced about her best supporting actress win for 1954’s On the Waterfront, noting there was significantly less hype surrounding awards season in those days. There was also a smaller emphasis on one’s Oscar speech.
Oscar-nominee Naomi Watts on pressure of playing real-life survivor in ‘The Impossible’
Naomi Watts admits she watched the Oscar nominations announcement live to find out she was nominated for Best Actress for her role in “The Impossible.” “I planned on not watching it,” she explains, “and in fact, I really was quite sure that it wasn’t going to happen … but I ended up having a really sleepless night anyway … I was completely shocked, and extra shocked because my name was read first.”
Last year, to increase suspense, Oscar presenters began to announce nominees in random order instead of alphabetically, which meant that Watts got to hear the good news first this time around. “It’s a nice break for those whose names begin with a W,” she says. Considering those actors who come earlier in the alphabet but had to wait to hear their names called, she adds, “That’s how the W’s have lived their whole lives!”
Fandango introduces “The Frontrunners” featuring Chief Correspondent Dave Karger! Tune in for an inside look at The Oscars.
Naomi Watts sits down with Dave Karger to discuss her upcoming role in The Impossible.
A new original series from Fandango, “The Frontrunners” gives you unprecedented access to this year’s nominated movies, actors and actresses with exclusive interviews and scene breakdowns with the actors and actresses in the nominated movies in the upcoming awards season.