Salaries

Trivia

  • In 2007, a rumor circulated that she had been cast as Narcissa Malfoy in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009). The day after the rumor appeared, her PR reps claimed it wasn't true.
  • Model for David Yurman. [2006]
  • Worked as a nanny for Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise when she was struggling in Hollywood.
  • Spokeswoman for Pantene haircare (2011).
  • When she was 18, she tried her hand at modeling and was hired by an agency in Japan.
  • Grandparents: Hugh & Nikki Roberts
  • Spent some of her early childhood in Anglesey, Wales, where her mother is from.
  • Considers herself to be both British and Australian.
  • Returned to work one month after giving birth to her son Samuel in order to begin filming Mother and Child (2009).
  • Gave birth to her 2nd child at age 40, a son Samuel Kai Schreiber, on December 13, 2008. Child's father is her now ex-fiancé, Liev Schreiber.
  • Was among the guests at Nicole Kidman's and Keith Urban's wedding
  • Has a fear of swimming in deep water. Was caught in an ocean current, when she was age 14, and was rescued by her brother, Ben Watts, who was age 15.
  • Is 19 months younger than her brother, Ben Watts.
  • She is currently filming in London for Woody Allen in You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger (2010) opposite Anthony Hopkins, Antonio Banderas and Josh Brolin, among others. [August 2009]
  • Turned down the role of "Susan Storm" (Invisible Girl) in Fantastic Four (2005). Jessica Alba later got the part.
  • Returned to work two months after giving birth to her son Alexander in order to begin filming The International (2009).
  • The appearance of the character in the game Deadly Premonition (2010), Emily Wyatt, was copied from her.
  • Was three months pregnant with her son Alexander when she completed filming on Eastern Promises (2007).
  • Was voted #29 on AskMen.com's Most Desirable Women of 2006.
  • Moved in with best friend Nicole Kidman after Kidman spilt up from husband Tom Cruise.
  • Godmother of Simon Baker and Rebecca Rigg's son Claude.
  • Claims she wanted to become an actor after seeing the movie Fame (1980).
  • Starred in and produced 2001's Ellie Parker (2001), which was made into a kind of cult classic about a struggling actress in Hollywood and the nightmares she encountered. The movie resurfaced in 2005 at the SunDance Film Festival and is set to be re-released in December of 2005.
  • Has been in at least seven remakes/revisions: The Shaft (2001), The Ring (2002), Ned Kelly (2003), Ellie Parker (2005), King Kong (2005), Le voile des illusions (2006) and Funny Games (2007).
  • Good friends with frequent co-star, Sean Penn.
  • Turned down the role of Narcissa Malfoy on Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009) and the role went to Helen McCrory.
  • Accepted the role for 21 Grams (2003) without reading the script first.
  • Named #2 in the French edition of FHM magazine's "100 Sexiest Women in the World 2006".
  • Before finally accepting a lead role in You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger (2010), she was forced to turn down roles by Woody Allen in both Melinda and Melinda (2004) and Cassandra's Dream (2007) due to scheduling conflicts.
  • Attended North Sydney Girls High School.
  • Parents: Peter Watts and Myfanwy (Miv) Watts.
  • Was in contention for the role of Hanna Schmiz in The Reader (2008), along with Marion Cotillard, after Nicole Kidman dropped out due to pregnancy. However due to scheduling conflicts she had to back out and the part was eventually given to Kate Winslet.
  • Her father died when she was seven.
  • When her cell phone sounds, it plays Pink Floyd's "Money".
  • Daughter of Peter Watts, road manager for Pink Floyd until 1974.
  • Friend of Kate Hudson, Gia Carides and Carla Gugino.
  • Was engaged to actor Liev Schreiber from 2007 until they called off in 2016.
  • Moved to Australia when she was 14. Her maternal grandmother is Australian.
  • She once appeared in an Australian television commercial turning down a date with Tom Cruise for her mum's lamb roast.
  • Has played four characters with the name Ann - Dream House (2011), Funny Games (2007), Eastern Promises (2007) and King Kong (2005).
  • Was voted 3rd in Entertainment Weekly's Entertainers of the Year in December 2005.
  • It is often assumed that she met her now ex-fiancé Liev Schreiber on the set of Le voile des illusions (2006), but they actually met at the New York Met ball in 2005.
  • Her favorite actresses are Meryl Streep, Jodie Foster and Julianne Moore.
  • Her parents divorced when she was four.
  • Enjoys martial arts and trained Judo for a long time. She participated in amateur Judo championships through the early 90s, from 1989 to 1992. Nowadays, she trains in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
  • Owns homes in both Los Angeles and New York City.
  • Was Fernando Meirelles's first choice for the role of Tessa Quayle in The Constant Gardener (2005), but she declined due to her commitment to King Kong (2005). Rachel Weisz was then given the role.
  • Was considered for the role of Catwoman in The Dark Knight Rises (2012).
  • Model for Ann Taylor (2011).
  • Shot her leading role in Mother and Child (2009) in only 8 days.
  • In New Zealand, filming Peter Jackson's King Kong (2005). [2004]
  • Best friends with Nicole Kidman, since a casting call for commercial when they were girls.
  • Was cast in a King Lear adaptation as Goneril alongside Keira Knightley (as Cordelia), Gwyneth Paltrow (as Regan) and Anthony Hopkins (as King Lear). The movie was shelved.
  • Director David Lynch asked her to be in the movie Mulholland Drive (2001) after picking out her headshot from a stack of actors.
  • She has a Yorkshire terrier named Bob.
  • Her brother, Ben Watts, is a well-known photographer. He's been living in the US since 1994.
  • When shooting a movie, uses a specific song to get herself ready for each scene.
  • Adam-12: Log 141: The Color TV Bandit (1968) aired on the day she was born. Star Trek: The Next Generation: Encounter at Farpoint (1987) (the debut, possibly the pilot) aired on her 19th birthday, Emergency!: Gossip (1974), Numb3rs: Trust Metric (2007), Quantum Leap: The Leap Home: Part 1 - November 25, 1969 (1990), The Simpsons: The Principal and the Pauper (1997), and The Simpsons: Sex, Pies and Idiot Scrapes (2008) aired on her birthday.
  • Is good friends with actor Mark Ruffalo and his wife Sunrise Coigney.
  • Ranked #2 in the UK FHM's most eligible women (2006).
  • Had a horrific fall on the New Zealand set of King Kong (2005). She fell from a height into a ditch, to the shock of the cast and crew. She thanked her rigorous practice of yoga for saving her from any permanent damage.
  • Featured on the cover of the Australian Empire Magazine March 2003 for Women of the Year 2002.
  • Named #4 of Sexiest Women over the age of 35 according to the editors at MSN Lifestyle: Men.
  • Her mother Miv Watts is an interior designer.
  • Spokeswoman for Audi (2011).
  • Was named one of the 50 Most Beautiful People by People Magazine in 2002.
  • When she was 20 years old, she was an assistant editor at "Follow Me" magazine in Australia. After a friend begged her to try acting, she quit her job instead and never looked back.
  • Father Peter Watts died of an apparent heroin overdose when Naomi was seven years old. She says she doesn't have any clear memories of him.
  • Ranked #76 on Forbes 2005 Power in Entertainment List.
  • Her maternal grandfather was Welsh and her maternal grandmother was Australian.
  • Was accompanied by her then-boyfriend Liev Schreiber to the King Kong (2005) US-premiere. It was their first public appearance together.
  • Voted the 14th Sexiest Female Movie Star in the Australian Empire Magazine September 2002.
  • Played a struggling actress living in L.A. twice: in Mulholland Drive (2001) and in Ellie Parker (2005).
  • Gave birth to her 1st child at age 38, a son Alexander Pete Schreiber (Sasha Schreiber), on July 25, 2007. Child's father is her now ex-fiancé, Liev Schreiber.
  • The maniacal laughter heard in the Pink Floyd song, "Money", is her father's, Peter Watts, the band's then-road manager.
  • Her favorite "scary movie" is Don't Look Now (1973).
  • Named #99 in FHM magazine's "100 Sexiest Women in the World 2006" supplement. (2006).

Quotes

  • I don't think I'm really the go-to girl for that sort of cheery popcorn movie. I've done that little bit of lightness in King Kong, and I Heart Huckabees was definitely goofy, but I just don't connect that well to romantic comedies because they're usually so formulaic and not really based in truth.
  • "The consequences are that you fear and dread being abandoned. You get a little tougher, and it's more difficult for you to become intimate. The pros are that you can adapt to any situation and that you're open to new surroundings. A lot of people get stuck in their ways, but I embrace change." on moving frequently when she was younger.
  • Yeah, I suppose I am ordinarily drawn to the darker stuff. 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.
  • 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. Actually, I think that it's the comedians who are the darkest people on the planet, because they think life's just bloody hilarious. - on the usual dark roles that she is known for.
  • Well, in Mulholland Drive (2001), I played these two characters that weren't based on any reality and they were very extreme people. I felt this character, "Rachel Keller", was very ordinary even though she's presented with extraordinary circumstances. She's a normal person who's just a mother and to her everything is OK. Life is just dandy.Then this horrible thing comes into her life. She's forced to question her sanity. It seems completely implausible and then the journalist part of her goes out the window and it becomes about survival for her and for her family. It's pretty intense -- On what attracted her to the role of "Rachel Keller" in The Ring (2002).
  • People think of me as the go-to-girl for nervous breakdowns. (On the type of roles she's offered.)
  • I find myself gravitating towards drama. It interests me. In the books I read, the paintings I like, it's always the darker stuff.
  • Every time I'd think to book a ticket to leave L.A., something would come up-even just a three day job or something. That was enough to keep me invested. I still pinch myself when a certain director calls and says, 'Would you like to read my script?' I don't take any of it for granted because I struggled for so long.
  • 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.
  • Yes, I did. I saw it once. I read the script and I really liked the script. I got excited about it, and then I managed to get hold of the copy of the Japanese version. It was particularly difficult to find as I was shooting a film in the south of Wales. The video store people looked at me blankly.And when I got hold of it, I was in my hotel room alone and watching it on a very small TV monitor, and I remember being pretty freaked out. I just saw it the once, and that was enough to get me excited about doing it. But then, after that, I didn't want to look at it too much, because when you're doing a remake, I think it can be dangerous, because seeing how the other actor played the role could corrupt your own ideas or take you in a direction that's not exactly where you would have planned to go -- On watching "Ringu" before shooting The Ring (2002).
  • It was the character that drew me to this project. It's a genre film, and you get all those moments that you get in a genre film, but you get a little bit more. I think it's more psychological. And the character has her own personal journey to go through, and I particularly liked it for that reason. Rachel starts out as a flawed person and not the greatest mother. She's not asking the questions, she's a little bit driven and focused on what she thinks is the right thing to do, which is work, work, work, survive, survive and provide for my child. But it's only after all the drama and the chaos happens that she realizes that it's not just about that. It's about spending time and asking the questions and recognizing what your child needs before he states it. -- On what drew her to The Ring (2002).
  • I'd have to say when I found out that my son was watching the tape. And then again, when I was totally exasperated at the end. ... I really felt like I was touching on melodrama, and you're just going for it, and you're just like shrieking, and you're always afraid that it's too much, but it really warrants that in the story. It's really about trusting Gore, because we've got to make sure that everything is paced well up to that point so it isn't melodrama. Obviously, it's a very, very dramatic situation, and she's reached that point where she just can't take it anymore. So you're doing it on the day and you're just always concerned how it's going to play out in the structure of the story.And then also, I'd have to say that the horses on the boat was particularly difficult. I mean, I felt terrible for the horses, but we had the animal people there who were watching very closely and telling us what we could and couldn't do, and everyone on the set was incredibly quiet and respectful in order not to spook them anymore than they were already being spooked. ... But it was great. I think it's a pretty powerful scene. -- on what her most difficult scenes were in The Ring (2002).
  • "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." - in response to 21 Grams (2003).
  • They both had such difficult parts. Michael, particularly, had endless amounts of dialog, and Michael Haneke wanted to shoot long takes without angles, which meant both guys had to be very much on their game. I was so impressed with both of them. They're very fine actors and although they struggled with it -- playing these hideous, psychotic people -- I think there was some fun in it, too. Michael Pitt is also someone who works from a very organic place and Haneke had lots of instruction for him. You feel very trapped and confined. And the material is so heavy and it makes you so very tense. - on Funny Games (2007) co-stars Michael Pitt and Brady Corbet.
  • That ad recently turned up in a magazine in Australia. My head is in my hands as I'm sitting at as desk, thinking, 'When can I start using tampons?' I was quite old, but I was supposed to look 12". - on one of her first gigs.
  • [on being directed by David Lynch] He's in it with you. Once he was on his megaphone, calling out in the middle of a scene "Go get him, Naomi! Twist their balls off'" But when you ask questions he doesn't give you answers. He wants to maintain the mystery, even for us. I love it. Everything he does is weird and esoteric, but it's rooted in truth.
  • I'm so not feeling in my best physical shape and there I am having to strip naked -- which I'd never even done before [on her role in Mother and Child (2009)].
  • I never get recognized on the street. I'm lucky that way. People see me as the dolled-up movie-star type on the red carpet, but in real life, I don't look anything like that. I blend easily into a crowd. My husband, Liev Schreiber, is really distinct, and quite often people push me aside to get to him. They'll say, "Isn't that the guy...?" and list off all his credits. They will then ask, "Can you take a photo of us?" They have no idea who I am.
  • Yes, I've had six great years of being in a position where I can pick and choose a bit, but it's not like I suddenly feel so calm and relaxed about that. Having spent a large portion of my life with a constant struggle and trying to find ways to make it work, that's what sticks with me.
  • 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.
  • I've done a few remakes now, as you know. And my philosophy is, you see the original film once, and that's it. You have to do whatever you can to shut it out, because you don't want your performance to be tainted. You don't want to fall into the trap of comparisons, basically.
  • "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" - on her early career.
  • [on her Oscar nomination for The Impossible (2012)] I just want to have a good time and then have a great party afterwards. Emmanuelle Riva was the performance of the year, but Jennifer Lawrence did a beautiful job too. And Jessica Chastain. They're all great performances. And - how do you pronounce it? - Quvenzhane [Wallis] was great too.
  • I always love being in the company of women. It's all about good conversation and great wine.
  • "I've had people who've seen 21 Grams (2003) say, 'Wow, you're so brave to be looking like that'. This shocks me. I think that's what an actor's job is, to lose yourself in a role".
  • 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.
  • I'm incredibly grateful for being in a position where the phone still rings and the calls are still coming in from directors I respect. I feel like my intentions are the same as they have always been. I can't be seduced into doing (a film) for the wrong reason. The moment I do, I'll probably fail.
  • To be a producer is not something that I look at as a position of power. I just think that I have these great connections, let's use them. I believe in it. You believe in it. Let's do it.
  • For the record, I am actually British as well as Australian. People always think I'm Australian but I'm happy for the Brits to claim me back. I'm offering myself up.
  • My 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.
  • 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!
  • Since this was a remake, there was the fear that you're going to be compared to the original actors. The fact that Michael was designing each shot the exact same way as the original meant that you had to do the same blocking and tread the same steps as those actors. And then you think, oh wow, how can I invent this character, how can I find this scene in my own organic way? Michael's way is so mapped out -- I'd go to the sink, go to the fridge, then back to the sink -- it became such a heady thing and it's not like I prefer to work. I like to feel it and surprise myself. - more on Funny Games (2007) writer/director Michael Haneke.
  • "Every time I dress up to go somewhere, I say this is who I am: like, I feel like a Russian hooker tonight. A long time ago, I put on a Stella McCartney top with a huge amount of feathers, and I had really black eye makeup and stringy hair. My mom was like, 'That top's not working'. But that's what I looked like, a Russian hooker".
  • 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.
  • Everyone said I was an overnight success, but it was ten years leading up to that.
  • It's a bunch of images that are really quite nasty. They don't exactly correlate but you work out what they mean later on in the story, and that alone is pretty scary -- On the videotape in The Ring (2002).
  • I keep saying to myself, Oh, God, I'm sick of playing these dark, harrowing roles. I want a big paycheck, so put me in some dumb romantic comedy any day.
  • 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. - on the struggles of her early career.
  • Aside from the endless discussions and imagining various scenarios -- the 'what-ifs' -- I happen to know two people that had been held hostage in their home. To know even two people is scary; it reminds you that this sort of thing really can take place. - on preparing and relating to Funny Games (2007).
  • "The biggest place I look for validation is from my mother. That's the little girl in me that will never grow up." - on why not having an Oscar yet doesn't faze her.
  • [on undertaking the role of Diana, Princess of Wales] It's definitely risky. But having said that, it's a story that has to be told. We like to look back on big stories, and it's a little fresher, perhaps, than Henry VIII.
  • To be appreciated or recognized is everything to an artist, but to be placed in a category where judgment occurs is awful, and yet we are all liars if we can't admit that we haven't all chased it or dreamed of it, even just a little bit.
  • Even during my most intense scenes with Sean Penn (in 21 Grams (2003)), we found ways to have fun. Sure, I have my dark moments, but I'm the girl you'll see driving down the highway singing to Blondie.
  • 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'! [after being asked if it was hard to do a love scene with a woman (Mulholland Drive (2001)]
  • Auditions are just so humiliating and degrading. You get a five-minute time slot for a part you've spent six hours or more studying for or thinking about, and you get into these rooms full of people who barely make eye contact. They're bored and frustrated that they can't find the right person, energy that is instantly crushing and which makes it hard to shine. Going through that process over and over, you become so wounded and guarded that it's impossible to give you best stuff away. That's why I will never forget what David Lynch did for me. When he cast me in Mulholland Drive (2001), I was literally at the lowest place, and yet he managed to pull away all those masks.
  • You have to make peace with yourself. The key is to find the harmony in what you have.quoted in the Feb 01, 2005 issue of WOMAN'S WORLD.
  • [on her role in Fair Game (2010)] I'm probably one of the few people who can say I breastfed my baby while packing a loaded gun.
  • Believe me. There's nothing natural about a red-carpet experience. People scream your name at the top of their voices, 100 of them at a time, and it just makes your heart leap out of your chest. I don't like being in loud places any more, all my friends call me Granny! My favorite thing is welcoming people in to my home.
  • [on The Impossible (2012)] Who knew I'd be swimming for six weeks? After King Kong (2005) I swore to myself that I would never do anything action-driven again, because it just about killed me. But it's sort of like childbirth. You forget.
  • I went straight from one movie to another. I had about a week of rehearsal and that was my preparation. It was a huge movie and I had like a billion costume, changes and things like that took precedence over any acting preparation. But really fear is a pretty simple emotion to play. It's a pretty good driving force, so imagination really was my key -- On preparing for The Ring (2002).
  • [Woody Allen is] the best actor's director I've ever worked with. There's not as much free rein as we're led to believe, because he has a sense of how the scene's going to work and we need to move within those parameters. [But] he wants to empower us to find it ... and he'll do it in such a gentle fashion that we don't even understand it's being done.
  • Instead of thinking 'how can I slow the ageing process?' I think 'how can I bend the rules?' Every year you add to your life, you're going to add a different experience to your face.
  • It was quite difficult to turn off during the end of the day. Most people will ask me, 'Was this scary to make, scary to watch?' Usually the answer is no, because in most films, you shoot out of sequence so everything's fragmented. But this film was shot very much in chronological order and it pretty much takes place all on one set. Michael doesn't cut a lot -- one shot is held for endless minutes. So it was hard. The set was at times a very tense place - On filming Funny Games (2007).
  • 'Pain is such an important thing in life. I think that as an artist you have to experience suffering. It's not enough to have lived it once; you have to relive it. Darkness is not a pejorative thing."
  • 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.
  • When I had dark hair I definitely felt that I was more anonymous.

Trademarks

  • Her two front teeth
  • Frequently plays dark and troubled characters
  • Roles in remakes of films
  • Often works with Sean Penn.
  • Often plays characters that endure loss or suffering

Nicknames

  • 나오미 왓츠
  • เนโอมี วอตส์
  • 妮奥米·瓦兹
  • ナオミ・ワッツ
  • Наоми Уоттс
  • نعومي واتس
  • Queen of Remakes

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