“Everyone feels they know her so well” Naomi Watts on playing the people’s princess
Sixteen years after she died in a car crash, the life of Princess Diana is being depicted on the big screen for the first time.
The film tells the story of the last two years of her life.
The BBC’s entertainment correspondent, Lizo Mzimba has been speaking to Naomi Watts, who plays the leading role, about why she believes the film should have been made.
Diana is in cinemas across the UK on Friday 20th September.
Oscar Race for Best Actress Already Overcrowded
Women often complain that there aren’t enough good movie roles for actresses, and they’re right.
This year, the meaty roles may not be plentiful, but they’re impressive: It’s only September and the best-actress race is already overloaded with contenders.
The Venice Film Festival, which kicked off Aug. 28, offered two strong possibilities: Sandra Bullock in “Gravity” and Judi Dench in “Philomena,” two very different but very impressive tour de force performances.
In May, Cannes offerings included “Blue is the Warmest Color,” in which Lea Seydoux and Adele Exarchopoulos starred in the Palme d’Or-winning film, while the fest’s actress prize went to Berenice Bejo in “The Past.” Also winning big praise was “The Immigrant,” with Marion Cotillard. That’s six possibilities already.
Then you can add Cate Blanchett, in “Blue Jasmine,” a performance that’s getting a lot of heat, and several current indie films that feature terrific work by their lead actresses, including Brie Larson in “Short Term 12,” and Shailene Woodley in “The Spectacular Now.”
Venice also screened “Tracks,” in which Mia Wasikowska in onscreen the whole time in a role 180 degrees from recent work like “Stoker” and “Alice in Wonderland.”
Among the titles to be screened at Toronto, which launches Sept. 5, are “August: Osage County,” with Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts; “Devil’s Knot,” with Reese Witherspoon; and “Labor Day,” with Kate Winslet. Those are question-marks until they’re seen, but they sure sound like possibilities.
Toronto also offers other questions, such as “Railway Man,” with Nicole Kidman: Is that a lead or supporting role?
And speaking of Kidman, don’t forget films set for later this year including her “Grace of Monaco”; Naomi Watts as another princess, “Diana”; Emma Thompson in “Saving Mr. Banks”; and a bunch of other possibilities that are likely to pop up.
Naomi took part in the press day for Diana in London yesterday, and below are the first batch of released interviews, including some for the Australian media.
She also appeared on BBC Breakfast this morning, and taped an appearance for 98FM which will air sometime in the coming weeks.
Naomi talks to Australian Channel Ten
Whilst browsing Tumblr for anything new on Naomi, I came across this music video by The Charlatans which features Naomi. At first I thought it might’ve been another music video she’d done quietly (she did a couple in the early 90’s), but having done a bit more searching it seems that it is a commercial for David Yurman, featuring a song from The Charlatans. This was done back in 2006. I don’t remember having seen it before, so I thought I’d post it as a bit of a ‘blast from the past':
Interview: Tim Burgess, The Charlatans
Well I’m kind of glad he made it into a movie, at the same time…
Check this out for a Lynchism: we just did some music for a Naomi Watts advert. It’s “You’re So Pretty” from “Wonderland,” and it’s her looking like she did in “Mulholland Drive,” floating about for three minutes. I’d show it to you, only my computer’s broken…
HD screencaptures from the international trailer for Diana are now up in the Gallery for you. Browse back through our Diana news archives to view the trailer itself.
I’ve also spent some time working on our Career section content pages today – check the Recently Updated Pages bit on the sidebar to see some of those updates. So far it’s just a very basic start, and I will continue to build it up in the coming weeks!
Naomi Watts: Diana film ‘is sooner than some people expected’
Naomi Watts has defended her portrayal of the Princess of Wales, saying that although the film may be sooner than some expected, “it was a story that was going to be told.”
Speaking the day before the UK premiere, Watts told ITV News correspondent Nina Nannar of the difficulty in capturing what made Princess Diana so instantly recognisable – her voice and mannerisms.
Director Oliver Hirschbiegel said that although ‘Diana’ will undoubtedly have an effect on the princess’ sons, William and Harry, they were used to scrutiny and the attention their mother garnered, throughout her life and since her death.
I don’t know what I would do if somebody did a film about my mother…Then the way these young men grew up was being clearly aware of being the princes or the future king – so it’s not like something that comes out of nowhere, they grew up like this.
– Oliver Hirschbiegel
Watts said that while preparing to play the people’s princess she had two vocal coaches and it required “a lot of hard work.”
The voice was the toughest thing. Because it is posh – but she has that breathe and she didn’t have that stiff upper lip, she used a lot more of her facial expressions than that aristocratic way of Victorian ways.
So putting that breath in to it and using her eyes and her mannerisms as well, that was all stuff that we remember well, her voice was something that we remember very well.
– Naomi Watts
Watts also spoke about her fears of taking on the role and how she actually turned the part down twice because of her concerns.