Watts at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival
|Born||Naomi Ellen Watts
28 September 1968
Shoreham, Kent, England
|Occupation||Actress, film producer|
|Partner(s)||Liev Schreiber (2005â€“16)|
|Relatives||Ben Watts (brother)|
There's a set of rules out there somewhere that says it all ends by 40. I hope to be able to defy that because I truly love my work.
I'm not sure why I still think of myself as 28 – maybe that's the point where you start growing up, and then you just feel the same for evermore.
I think it's good to explore it. I don't feel bad about that… I mean, I think everyone has a sense of – has a dark side, has a – carries some sort of pain with them. And I find it fun to crack it open and go there.
I always love being in the company of women. It's all about good conversation and great wine.
As you get older, you overthink and can talk yourself out of anything. It's good to be a bit reckless and experimental.
Whenever I am in Paris, all I want to do is inhale a big plate of cheese. And in New York, my favourite thing is a toasted bagel with cream cheese. Not only do I not avoid carbs, I more or less have them in every meal. When I start denying myself foods, that's when I crave them.
The biggest place I look for validation is from my mother. That's the little girl in me that will never grow up.
Of course, I want to look the best I can, but I am playing characters that should match my age, and the women and the material that I am interested in are usually going through something. I have to be able to live in my face and tell the story of the character I've taken on.
Women in their 40s have gone through quite a few different things, and so the roles are going to reflect that. People say, 'Oh, it's done by 40,' and now everyone knows it's not. I actually feel like the roles are a lot more interesting.
There are no tricks to balancing work and family. It is a struggle all the time, and you just do your best. I think men are much better at compartmentalising.
It was total naivety that got me to Hollywood. I thought it was going to happen straight away. I told myself 'give it 5 years, there's no way I'll be here after that if it doesn't happen'. Cut to ten years later!
It's always nerve-racking to take off your clothes on film. But doing it with a woman felt safer than with a man. You know you can say, 'Don't grab me there: That's where my cellulite is'!
If I have to produce movies, direct movies, whatever to change the way Hollywood treats older women, I'll do it. If I have to bend the rules, I will. If I have to break them, I will.
Pain is such an important thing in life. I think that as an artist you have to experience suffering.
Whenever a film allows you to think and feel and take it beyond the moment, I think it's achieved something. And 'Funny Games' does that.
Personally I feel, for me, it's tough to do Botox – but it's also tough not to! Sometimes, I think I need the help. Whatever anyone else chooses is fine with me – no judgment.
You won't find me in a romantic comedy. Those movies don't speak to me. People don't come to talk to me about those scripts, because they probably think I'm this dark, twisted, miserable person.
There must be a thread in everything I choose to take on, and I can't say it's a calculated thread, but I think you end up doing the work that's resonating with you.
On set is where I feel comfortable. The red carpet stuff, talking about the film, explaining your own life, it doesn't come naturally. It's all necessary stuff I suppose but it's not my strength.
Parisian women have an inner elegance that's envied the world over. They are so relaxed about ageing and seem to acquire more charisma and beauty with time. Who wouldn't want to be like them? That's the trick – to embrace the natural progression of life and to be confident.
That's one of the lucky things about getting the success later on. I know how I want to dress, I know what kind of house I want to live in, I just know more about myself, and that's true about the roles I want to play and what parts of myself I want to express. You're just more in touch with yourself.
As much as my kids keep me young, they also have the reverse effect when I don't have the energy.
We're so afraid of death in our culture, but I think if we understand it better, then we'll appreciate the life we have more.
When I was about 14, my family emigrated from England to Australia, and we decided to stop in Bali on the way through.
I had gotten to a place where I truly believed everything I was called: 'not sexy,' 'not funny,' 'too intense,' desperate.' All those labels they gave me, I took them because there wasn't a trace of my true self left.
I find myself gravitating towards drama. It interests me. In the books I read, the paintings I like, it's always the darker stuff.
Some movies are the kind you take home with you at the end of the day, and some, you can let go.
I'm not this dark, twisted person. Yes, I have my demons and this is my way of exorcising them. It gets them out – and better out than in.
I can't see the film industry coming to a grinding halt any time soon. I think we may be more open to negotiations and things like that, but I think the art world tends to thrive in times of recession.
There's so much focus on celebrity these days; we're in the Kardashian era, and it's slightly scary.
There's a lot of skeletons in my closet, but I know what they're wearing. I'm not gonna act all ashamed of it.
Whatever is said about roles drying up, I intend to keep working. Certainly now the roles couldn't be more interesting – playing mothers, divorcees. I think it's going to be exciting to play a mother of teenagers. The longer your life, the deeper it gets.
The use of violence in movies is a subject that's worth addressing. I'm not standing on a soapbox or wagging a finger, but I'm interested in those subjects for sure.
I hate diets. Restriction makes me feel rebellious. I find that I look my best when I feel my best, whatever that takes. For me, above all else, it means being around the people I want to be with.
Mum put me in drama classes when I was about 14. I'd been going on about it for some time, so maybe it was a way to shut me up.
You have to make peace with yourself. The key is to find the harmony in what you have.
I'm a tomboy now. I always wanted to fit in with my brother's group, so I climbed trees and played with lead soldiers. But I'm a woman's woman. I never understood women who don't have woman friends.
There was a time I was very much blaming the way I felt on L.A, that it was a vacuum of creativity, of humor or anything organic, and I was really angry at the place. But then today I feel completely different – I love L.A.!
Directors are our teachers, and I'm always craving to work with a great director. They're pretty much the first thing that interests me about a project. Let's put it this way: It'll take me a lot longer to read a script if there's no director attached.
Now that I have kids, I don't want to do so many daredevily things anymore.
I actually have a fear of the water because I nearly drowned. I got caught in a rip tide, and I wasn't a good swimmer because that was when I was emigrating from England to Australia.