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- June 29, 2017 Carol

Bruna Papandrea will produce, alongside Witherspoon, Watts and Aussie-based producer Emma Cooper.
Reese Witherspoon, Naomi Watts and Bruna Papandrea are teaming up for an adaptation of the best-selling Australian book Penguin Bloom.
The story follows Sam Bloom, a Sydney-based mother of three who, following an accident, becomes paralyzed from the chest down and receives help from an unlikely source — a magpie named Penguin that helps the family adjust to Sam’s new condition. 
New York Times best-selling author Bradley Trevor Greive wrote Penguin Bloom, which features photographs from Sam’s husband, Cameron. 
Watts is set to star in the feature, which also is being produced by Aussie-based producer Emma Cooper. 
Penguin Bloom will film in Australia. The production is still looking for a screenwriter and a director.  
Even though Witherspoon and Papandrea have gone separate ways as producing partners under their Pacific Standard banner, which is responsible for hits like Gone Girl and Wild, the duo are still set to produce a number of projects they have in development. This includes an adaptation of Jessica Knoll’s Luckiest Girl Alive. 
Watts will next be seen in Colin Trevorrow’s The Book of Henry and will star opposite Brie Larson in the adaptation of The Glass Castle.

Hollywood Reporter







- June 19, 2017 Carol

Naomi Watts is no shrinking violet onscreen, having proved her mettle against a raging gorilla in “King Kong,” a deadly videotape in “The Ring,” and the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami in “The Impossible.” Now, in “The Book of Henry,” out Friday, June 16, she’s battling wits with a gifted 11-year-old.
As Susan Carpenter, Ms. Watts plays a role she knows well: a mother, now single, of two boys — the precocious Henry (Jaeden Lieberher), who acts as her personal investment banker, and the seemingly more ordinary Peter (Jacob Tremblay). When Henry suspects that the girl next door is being harmed by her stepfather, the town’s police commissioner, he draws Susan into a rescue plan.
“I loved how it had a foot in many different worlds,” Ms. Watts said. “One minute it’s a sweet family movie. Then it moves into some complex dramatic moments, and then it takes some surprising twists into the suspense-thriller genre.”
The English-born, Australian-bred Ms. Watts, 48, lives in New York with Alexander, 9, and Samuel, 8, her sons with Liev Schreiber, from whom she publicly separated in September. In an interview at a hotel in Midtown, she spoke about two other big projects: the return of “Twin Peaks,” Sundays on Showtime; and the psychosexual thriller series “Gypsy,” debuting June 30 on Netflix.
What real-life mothering skills did you draw on to play Susan?
How far you’ll go to protect your own kids.
You previously acted with Jacob in “Shut In” and with Jaeden in “St. Vincent.” Did that bond make it easier to play their mother?
Yeah, which is great because how do you create that instant chemistry, especially with kids? You want the kids to jump up on you, or you want to be able to scruff up their hair or kick them on the butt. That’s the nuance you need to create a reality.
As a celebrity, it must be an enormous task to protect your own children, especially going through a public separation.
I don’t want to get into it too personally. But we’re doing the best we can in a tricky situation, and so far I feel really good about how we’ve dealt with it. The kids seem to be in a good place.
Do your sons watch your movies?
No, I don’t really see any advantage for them, and they only just watched “King Kong” a few months ago. I remember showing them the trailer [years earlier] and my littlest one getting completely freaked out. They just don’t want to see their parents under distress or in danger. Now they get it. They came to the set when I was shooting [“The Impossible”] in Thailand, and I had bruises and wounds, and I worried about them seeing me like that. But I [showed them how] you put on strawberry jam that looks like a bloody wound, and they started to understand.
In “Twin Peaks,” you’re playing the wife of a Dale Cooper look-alike. How was working with David Lynch again?
Fantastic. It’s been how long between drinks? Too long. “Mulholland Drive” is not quite 20 years old now. I managed to stay in touch with David. He doesn’t get out much, so you go to his house and have coffees and watch him smoke, and he’s always talking about ideas. There was a moment where it didn’t look like [being in “Twin Peaks”] was logistically possible, and I was stalling. And David rang me up and said: “Are you going to do this or not? Come on.” And I was like, I can’t not do this. I have to do it just to be in his magical, brilliant world again.
In “Gypsy,” you’re playing a cognitive behavioral therapist who gets a little too involved in her patients’ lives.
She’s a well-intentioned woman, but she’s at a point in her life where things are feeling a little stale. And she’s feeling that with her patients as well — like they’re not getting it, and she really wants to help them. Then, before you know it, her curiosity gets the better of her, and she’s in this whole rabbit hole. She’s neglected a side of her past that was a little bit wilder in order to live this life with more structure. So she goes off in the wrong direction.
What’s the moral of the story?
It’s a cautionary tale. People often fantasize about things like, who would I have been if I lived this life, or what haven’t I done, and how could I reinvent myself? You don’t have to do that when you watch a TV show. [Laughs] You get to see someone else get into all kinds of trouble for you.

New York Times





- June 10, 2017 Carol

When Naomi Watts’ son Sasha started fourth grade last year, he told his parents he wanted to start walking to school…alone. “Could he do it? Probably, yes,” says the actress. But “I’m not ready for that.”
“This is the age where they start building their autonomy,” says Watts, 48, who co-parents Sasha, 9, and son Kai, 8, with her former partner, actor Liev Schreiber, 49. The kids’ drive to learn and grow becomes more clear to her every day, she says. “They ask really intense, deep questions, like, ‘Who was the first person ever to be on Earth?’ and ‘Who was the mummy of the mummy of the mummy of the mummy?’ It sometimes just knocks me over, the deep level of thinking they go through.”
It’s a reminder to her that parenting regularly rides a fine line between nurturing your children’s independence and intelligence—and protecting them.
Watts’ character faces a similar quandary in her new movie, The Book of Henry, out June 16. She plays Susan, a divorced single mother raising her two boys. One of them, Henry (Jaeden Lieberher, 14, who co-starred in 2014’s St. Vincent with Watts and Bill Murray), is a bona fide genius. Henry handles his mom’s paycheck, invests in the stock market for his family and creates intricate plans in his notebook for Rube Goldberg–like machines with dozens of moving parts.
Susan’s younger son, Peter—played by Jacob Tremblay, 10, who starred alongside Oscar winner Brie Larson in Room—worships Henry but needs a bit more TLC. Their next door neighbor Christina (Maddie Ziegler, 14, of Lifetime’s Dance Moms) is being mistreated by her stepfather and needs the support of Susan’s family.
The challenges faced by the children present some serious topics.
“Right away it spoke to me,” Watts says of reading the Henry script. “It just felt like a fable, about how to keep a family together.”
Working with the child-heavy cast came easily for her. “Those kids, every day, were just incredible,” she says. It helped that she’d already co-starred with both boys: In addition to working with Lieberher in St. Vincent, she performed alongside Tremblay in last fall’s thriller Shut In.
Watts found her own youthful energy reawakened on set. “That’s the great thing about being a parent—kids bring out the child in you,” she says, “that spirit that should never go away.” And in her family, it hasn’t.
Her own children get the biggest laughs out of her when they’re busting her on her “fake” American accent if she’s using it on set between scenes. “They’re like, ‘Don’t speak like that!’’’ she says, laughing. “They just want you to be yourself.”
With a background like Watts’, being herself is complex. “I feel panicked when people ask me, ‘Where are you from?’ It’s complicated,” she explains. “I’m from everywhere!”
She was born in Kent, England. Her mother worked in fashion and dressing windows for department stores, then later in commercials and film, and is now an interior designer. Her father was a road manager and sound engineer for the band Pink Floyd.
“My mom and dad divorced early, and then he died,” she says of the tragedy that struck their family when she was only 7. “It was a struggle” for her mother, she says, “but she had the help of my grandparents—we lived with them for about three years.”
In those early years, “I was definitely a performer,” Watts says, recalling her involvement in local concerts, skits and holiday plays. At 14, she and her mom moved to Australia. She appeared in the 1986 Australian film For Love Alone, then relocated to the United States and made a name for herself in Hollywood with the movie Mulholland Dr., followed over the years by a wide range of other films, including The Ring, King Kong, The Impossible and Birdman.
In 2005, she began dating Schreiber and relocated to New York City. The pair announced this past September that they were separating as a couple after 11 years. “We are in a good place,” she says of their relationship now. “We’re very close friends, and we’re raising two beautiful boys.”
Despite her many years in America, Watts holds on to some key parts of her past—like her humor, which she says is definitely English. “I feel like it can be quite crass,” she says with a smirk. “And then I have that British self-deprecating thing, constantly apologizing. I’m not good at self-confidence, which is a very American trait.”
Her years in Australia gave her a tendency toward being open, honest and frank. “Australians wear their hearts on their sleeve; they’re very open and down-to-earth.” Yet in most of her roles, she plays an American. As convincing as her accent always is, she admits she still struggles with it.
The hardest part, she says, is nailing the r sounds.
“Sometimes I overcompensate; we don’t do the hard r’s. And that’s the one that Kai, my son, always busts me on. He’s like, ‘Mom, it’s not arrrrr!’”
Bikini Beginnings
Even today, Watts likes to do a few weeks of prep on her accent for a part before she gets to set. “I was talking to Nicole about it. We were saying, ‘Why doesn’t it get any easier? It almost gets harder. How is that possible?’”

Watts and Nicole Kidman (Mark Davis/Getty Images for Women in Film)
“Nicole” is fellow Aussie actress and friend Nicole Kidman, who’s had a big year herself, first with the film Lion and then the HBO series Big Little Lies. Watts and Kidman met while the two were auditioning for a TV commercial together early in their careers—both clad in bikinis for the part.
“We’ve kind of known each other for 30 years now,” Watts says. “We still always check in and spend as much time together as we can when we’re in the same city, and we just take off where we left off.”
Looking toward her next project, Watts is open. “The big thing I wanna do is theater,” she says. Broadway makes the most sense for her since she’s living in New York, “although I’ve heard, you know, it’s much scarier in New York. I’d love to do London.” She’s shyer than you might think. “I am terrified. I’m not good in front of live audiences.”
And as she keeps her eyes open for the right project onstage, she looks forward to seeing her other upcoming projects onscreen. On June 30, she’ll star in Gypsy, a new TV drama for Netflix, playing a therapist who delves too deeply into her patients’ lives. She’s also in Showtime’s new Twin Peaks series—in a role shrouded in secrecy. She’s excited about her dive into the world of high-quality television.
“I love that there’s all this room for female-driven stories,” she says. “It’s a great time for women—all the fantastically complicated women. TV’s not afraid of it.”
She’ll be joining Brie Larson in the big-screen film adaption of the book The Glass Castle, set for release August 11.
She loves working, but she’s never been good at sitting back as an audience member and watching her own work.
“I’ve never gotten used to that,” she says. Much like a parent who has to lead her children into the world and then release them—to walk alone to school one day and on toward life—she feels the same way about the roles she takes on.
“You never feel it’s finished,” she says. “It’s hard to let go.”

Parade



- June 9, 2017 Carol



- June 9, 2017 Carol



- May 29, 2017 Carol

In “Gypsy,” coming to Netflix on June 30, Naomi Watts plays Jean Halloway, a New York City therapist with a cute daughter (Maren Heary), a dashing husband (Billy Crudup), a picturesque home in the suburbs — and some serious middle-age angst. When she decides to track down Sidney (Sophie Cookson), a patient’s manipulative ex-girlfriend, things get, well, a little complicated. Created by Lisa Rubin and with select episodes directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson, the psychological thriller is Watts’ first regular series role in two decades.
Were you looking to get into TV?
I really wasn’t. I saw Sam Taylor-Johnson out and about and she said, “I’m doing this thing. I’d love for you to read it.” Both my agents and managers read it and went, “You probably won’t want to do it.” But it’s a really fascinating pilot and I got really pulled into the story, the idea that you have this whole other life. What I love about it is it’s kind of a cautionary tale. This woman is living out the fantasies that we’re all capable of having.
What interested you in playing Jean?
If you’re saying yes to a TV show, you want it to be interesting and complicated and have somewhere to go. I think she’s at a point in her life where she’s feeling like she’s lost herself a bit, her true identity, and closed the door, perhaps, on an old side of herself that she didn’t really want to. Perhaps at a point in her life she needed saving and that’s when she moved to the suburbs and married well to a hot lawyer. And now she’s got a kid. Everything on paper looks great, but she needs and desires more.
Jean crosses a professional line pretty early on by tracking down Sidney. What is she thinking?
It starts out with pure intentions. She really does want to help her patient. Then she connects with this woman in a way that reminds her of a lost part of herself. The exploration of one’s identity and the reshaping of it is an endlessly fascinating topic for me. I grew up like that, someone who went to many different schools and moved around within England and then to Australia. I felt like I was having to reinvent myself often just to fit in at school.
It’s interesting because this is the kind of midlife crisis story we usually see about men.
Yeah, that’s absolutely right. Women still have desires and women still seek power. Unfortunately, when those stories are told, the women are always crazy or ugly for seeking power. She’s definitely struggling with her sanity at times, but she’s not crazy. She’s a flawed and complex character. It’s great that those kind of roles are available now.
This is your first regular series role in nearly 20 years, and you’re in nearly every scene. I imagine it was grueling.
It kicked my ass. I’m used to working on a movie where you often have six weeks’ preparation with all the material, and in this case I didn’t have all the material. But as actors, so much of the way we work is sitting around waiting, and you can lose energy in that regard. Also, I’m working with a dialect, which is a whole other thing. I don’t think people realize how much work goes into that.
You do a very convincing American accent, though.
I feel robotic. I don’t feel free, which is really hard. You rehearse it so much in your head, it sort of becomes programmed in the right way to make it sound. So then if you want to play things differently, it’s very difficult.
Speaking of TV, you’re also in “Twin Peaks.” You knew I was going to ask, didn’t you?
Yes, of course, everyone’s asking. I love being on yet another set with David Lynch, who’s just such an incredible person, so unique, and I feel very connected to him. You just learn so much and it’s such a happy, memorable experience. But I’ve been sworn to absolute secrecy. And it’s not even like I can tell you many secrets because a lot of the time I didn’t know. I never read the whole script. In fact, there were certain scenes that I was in that lines said by other people were scrubbed out.
There are themes in “Gypsy: that are reminiscent of “Mullholland Drive.”
Yes — the duality. We all have things in our lives that we’re interested in. Identity is definitely one for me and it makes sense, because as I said, I grew up moving a lot as a kid. I kept thinking, “Oh, who should I be? Who do they want me to be? I wish I was her.” Those things occurred to me at a very young age, and they didn’t go away, as hard as that is to admit. It’s still in me.

LA Times