Naomi Watts as Diana
Naomi Watts as Diana. British-Australian actress Naomi Watts grew up and spent the first part of her life in England and saw constant front pages stuff going on every single day of Diana. She watched the wedding of Diana and Charles, and knew all those stories around that time. Could she even imagine that one day she would reincarnate Diana, Princess of Wales on the screen? This happened in 2013 biographical drama film, directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel. Naomi Watts fell in love with this character and this woman and the opportunity to tell the story of a woman who encompasses so many different things, who is both strong and intelligent but vulnerable, but found her independence and freedom, despite the division of her relationship with Charles and also losing her title.
Then she moved to Australia. Living there she did not know much about that period of Diana’s life, and about Hasnat Khan. When Naomi read the script, she was quite surprised that there was this whole big story that she knew nothing about. Naomi did the research, starting with Kate Snell’s book, and read stuff that was available, endless material and endless footage available.
Diana fell in love with Hasnat Khan because he was someone that she trusted right away. He had a great brain, they had common interests in that the need to help people and she related to him, he was not craving limelight or did not want anything to go public at any point and so she trusted him. It’s almost like when we go through our love trajectory that each one is a reaction to the last, and Hasnat Khan represented someone, as she admitted on camera, that her relationship with James Hewitt, it was the opposite of that. This man was not ever going to exploit her, he seemed to understand her and embrace her, all her great qualities and so she trusted that his love was pure.
Naomi Watts remembers exactly the day when Diana tragically died. Naomi was in Vancouver at dinner at a restaurant with some friends and she heard the news that this horrific accident had taken place and that Dody was already dead. And she and her friends went back to the hotel room and watched the whole thing play out on the news. She remembers being completely shocked and upset when they revealed her death.
Naomi has had her degree of frustration with the paparazzi but nothing to the scale of what Diana experienced, it was, every single day of her life, a constant battle, not everyone can handle that.
Diana embodied so many things and that intrigues us. That look in her eyes that is both strong and vulnerable at the same time, her compassion being a huge part of it, and she was really interested in caring for people. She was someone that had suffered sadness in her life and starting with the divorce in her early part of her childhood and then being separated from her mother, she had gone through real, human sadness. Her interest in understanding the others, helped her understand herself and helped us relate to her and feel that she was someone that was human. And also this statuesque thing about her, the look and she was so tall and graceful and there’s so many things about her make us want to identify with her.
Diana’s legacy is so powerful, that what she achieved in so many different areas with her work is commendable and really noble and what she achieved with the land mines in the course of a very, very short time, was more than they had achieved in years. And when she did with AIDS, in early years where we didn’t have that much information, and we didn’t know much about, she was the first person to make physical contact with sick people, and that helped us understand her, that was a very important thing that she did. She became passionate about many things, and that was impressive, and that’s what we remember in the best possible way about her. And also that she was a great mother, and all of those things as well.
Goodwill ambassador Naomi Watts has done quite a bit of work with the UN for AIDS as well. She has done a lot of work for the New York Academy of Arts, going to Africa, going to India, doing things right there on the ground, and being involved in helping causes there with AIDS has been great. Unfortunately I haven’t had time to travel since having children as much.
Naomi Watts didn’t want to get into mimicry. Although, the Bashir interview she did study obsessively, and wanted to get even the phrasing exactly right. And the hand movements and
gestures and things. But for the rest of the time, she wanted to have it, she just wanted to get the essence of Diana and make it her own interpretation.
“I think when your life, with the media interest is sort of out of control, and it’s taking charge of your life, anyone would try to control it in the best way they could and I think there were times that she did have control of it, and there were times where trying to have that control back. I have had conversations, particularly Liev, has had conversations with the
paparazzi, where he is literally trying to control them, because he wants to protect his family. So you want to reason with these people. But it doesn’t always work in your favor”. Naomi Watts
When a marriage breaks down, anybody feels like they are going to lose their identity because the couple becomes so much of your identity. So moving away from any marriage is difficult. And in this case, being not just to Prince Charles but the whole Royal Family and losing her title, that would have been something very scary to deal with. How do you re-invent yourself after that?
Diana always fought for happiness and tried to get better, whether it was with healers or therapists of some kind, she was always interested in moving beyond whatever obstacles she was up against. And it was very admirable that she spoke about some of her issues publicly on television in front of 23 million viewers. And that sort of humanized her, that’s why we end up remembering her so well, and sort of feeling such great compassion and admiration for her is that she was bold enough to say, yes I was a princess but I had an eating disorder and I used to self-flagellate and my parents divorced and that was painful, and all of those things she said out loud, despite her position and our need to hold her up on this pedestal, that was impressive, that sort of humanized her.
“That’s very sad that that was an unrequited love and it just ended up in such tragedy. My heart goes out to the Fayed family as well. From the research I did, although they knew each other and met in the early 80s, their relationship, whatever it was, and I don’t think anyone truly knows except for those two people, and it was a romance definitely, but it was very short lived. So who knows how serious, even when you meet someone in the beginning, you think, it’s everything, but who knows where it would have gone. I don’t know that”. Naomi Watts
“Well I think there’s so much information about who she was and so many different stories that conflict with one another, but I felt like the one that we could visibly see, was that she was this wonderful mother. And every time you saw pictures of her with her boys, it was very tactile and very loving and you could see the loving in her eyes, and unfortunately, there wasn’t a huge amount of scenes to portray that. But we could tell that those two boys mattered most of all to her”. Naomi Watts
Naomi Watts has got a husband, two children and to keep such a very stable family life takes work. In the interview she says “every marriage is not a bed of roses. We work on it, but we are honest with each other, our family is the most important thing to us, but we both love our work, so it takes to negotiating the practicals of how and when work can take place, and where obviously. But we adore our children and we want them to be the focus of our lives and their happiness is incredibly important to us”.
Naomi Watts as Diana
Based on the interview “Naomi Watts. August 14, 2013. Four Seasons. Beverly Hills”.