Naomi Watts Covers Parade Magazine
On ex-boyfriend, Heath Ledger: In 2002, while making the Australian film Ned Kelly, Naomi fell in love with co-star Heath Ledger. “I hadn’t really been that familiar with his work,” Naomi recalls. “Then, when I got to the set and did that first scene with him, I was like, ‘Wow! This guy is alive.’ It was just something deep in his eyes. You could look into them, and they would tell a thousand stories in one glance. There was a wonderful mixture of power and fragility at work in everything he did, which just pulls you in. His strength didn’t scare you. It intrigued you. And his fragility touched you.” The couple parted amicably in 2004, separated by the distance of two growing careers, but stayed friends until Heath’s tragic death from an accidental overdose in early 2008. “It’s still incredibly difficult,” Naomi says, her voice trailing off.
On being told she’s not pretty enough: “Very early on, I was told, ‘Not beautiful enough, not sexy enough, not quirky enough. I don’t have a striking, distinctive face. My features are not too big. I think I’ve got a blank canvas that can take on different qualities.”
How Nicole Kidman helped her career: After enduring endless demeaning auditions, Watts’ defense was to try to become someone else: “Be the pretty girl, the funny girl, the sexy girl, be whatever it was they wanted,” Naomi recalls. It didn’t take her far. “You get to a point where you’ve become that person for that day, and you dilute your personality to the point where it’s actually nonexistent. You walk into a room, and you don’t know who you are or who you should be, and they can’t connect with you because it’s not a truth.” But fellow Aussie actress and good friend Nicole Kidman, who was starting to get important movie roles, encouraged her. “I remember many times saying, ‘Oh, I just can’t do it. I’m going to wrap it up and call it a day.’ And Nicole would say, ‘Hang in there.’ She told me that it just takes one thing—and she was right in the end.”
On connecting with Liev Schreiber: “He’s a complicated man, which I’ve always been drawn towards. He’s fiercely intelligent.” Watts refuses to say when or even if she and Schreiber will conventionalize their relationship. “It’s not like I’ve grown up having this dream of a fairy-tale wedding,” she says. “My mother married twice and had two divorces. And Liev comes from the same kind of background. Maybe one day we’ll just wake up and go, ‘Hey, let’s do this.’ And maybe not. He and I have a family. We’re very much together. We just don’t have that certificate, and that’s okay with both of us. He gave me a beautiful ring, although I’m not wearing it right now.”