Naomi Watts has a diverse résumé of roles, from the shocking dual personality of Mulholland Drive, to the real-life survival story of The Impossible. But when Allure’s November cover girl was offered Diana, she initially said no.
“I thought, Everyone’s going to jump to these comparisons: ‘She hasn’t got the nose. She hasn’t got the voice,’” the actress explained to the glossy. “[I thought], it’s not going to work; it’s too scary. So I said no. But for some reason, I didn’t feel completely at peace with that decision. It was nerve-wracking every step of the way until I was there, and then it was like, ‘OK, now I’m just doing it.’”
Along with the rest of the world, Diana and the struggles the princess had to face after she joined the royal family mesmerized Watts. “[Princess Diana] was from a very privileged background, but she was thrust into something that no one can prepare for,” she said in the issue that hits newsstands October 22nd. “What fascinated me about her was this feeling of being trapped, completely isolated, and forced into circumstances she just couldn’t handle.”
While Watts had her reservations about looking the part, she made sure she got the princess’s eyes just right prior to shooting. “There was a ferocity and then a real fragility to her. You’re just drawn in by those eyes,” she said. But it wasn’t to say she didn’t work on sounding the part as well as she worked with a coach, stating, “I’ve never worked so hard on a dialect.”
Though she worked hard to emulate the legendary royal, Watts couldn’t hang onto everyone’s expectations. “It was an interpretation,” she said. “I had to make it my own.”