The actress felt "daunted" by the enormity of her role playing the 'people's princess.'
Naomi Watts has discussed her feelings towards her latest and largest film role to date, the portrayal of the iconic 'people's princess' in the film Diana, out today in the UK (20 September).
Naomi Watts' Role As Diana Has Been Disparaged By Some.
Watts' relationship with the press in the run-up to the film's release has so far been blighted by a confusing walk-out of an interview with Radio 5 Live's Simon Mayo for the station's film show. Mayo hadn't expressed any particular opinion towards the film; neither had he asked a particularly challenging question, which is why Watts' walk-out was so bemusing for the radio hosts and their listener.
It seems that now, Naomi is back on track and speaking about her latest film role again. The movie stars Watts as the late Princess Diana whose death after a Parisian car crash in 1997 shocked the world. The film delves into the last two years of Diana's life whilst she face intense press hounding after her divorce from Prince Charles and her subsequent secret affair with surgeon Hasnat Khan and her romance with Dodi Fayed.
Speaking at a press conference for Diana's release, the Australian actress spoke of how she felt intimidated by the role, especially because Diana held such a special place in the hearts of the British. When asked what convinced her to take the part, the King Kong actress said, "Well, I think there were many things but ultimately the reason that I wanted to say no so much became the reason why I wanted to do it as well," via Entertainment Wise.
Watts added "I was intrigued by the challenge, I mean it the beginning I thought 'How do you possibly take on possibly the most famous woman of our time? When everyone feels they know her so well, how do you take possession of that character?' So that was daunting."
The actress spoke of the character she perceived Lady Diana to be, saying she had "fragility but a great strength and unbelievable charisma, great beauty and wisdom and compassion and empathy, there were so many things to play that you know were impossible."
Though Watts felt daunted to take the role due to the British public's reception, this was nothing compared to how much she wanted to honour Princes William and Harry's mother's memory. "The biggest reason that made me pause was how the princes were going to feel about this," she told the Sunday Times, via Hello!.
After saying that she does "care deeply about how the princes feel, of course," Watts admitted "There was actually quite an eerie moment in London when I did see Prince William in a restaurant, and I got very nervous, because if I caught his eye I didn't want to interpret a look and think he had a negative feeling about this idea. So I made sure not to look."