NAOMI WATTS (Maria) was honored with an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress for her role in Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu’s 21 GRAMS. Her performance in the film, in which she starred alongside Sean Penn and Benicio Del Toro, also garnered Best Actress Awards from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, Southeastern Film Critics Association, Washington Area Film Critics and San Diego Film Critics, as well as Best Actress nominations from the SAG Awards, BAFTAs, Broadcast Film Critics and Golden Satellites. At the film’s premiere at the 2003 Venice International Film Festival, she received the Audience Award (Lion of the Public) for Best Actress. The film itself won the Special Distinction Award at the Independent Spirit Awards.
Watts was most recently seen in Clint Eastwood’s critically acclaimed J. EDGAR starring opposite Leonardo DiCaprio. She will next be seen in MOVIE 43, with Liev Schreiber in one of the film’s many comedic shorts. Watts recently completed production on THE GRANDMOTHERS with Robin Wright and SUNLIGHT JR. with Matt Dillon and is currently shooting the highly anticipated biopic DIANA in the lead role as the iconic Princess Diana.
She also recently starred in Jim Sheridan’s DREAM HOUSE with Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz; Doug Liman’s FAIR GAME, starring opposite Sean Penn; Woody Allen’s YOU WILL MEET A TALL DARK STRANGER, as part of an all-star cast, including Josh Brolin, Anthony Hopkins, Freida Pinto and Antonio Banderas; Rodrigo Garcia’s MOTHER AND CHILD, for which she received an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress and Tom Twyker’s THE INTERNATIONAL with Clive Owen.
Watts has had an impressive list of movies since her acclaimed turn in David Lynch’s controversial drama MULHOLLAND DR., for which she earned Best Actress Awards from a number of critics’ organizations, including the National Board of Review and National Society of Film Critics. In addition to starring in Peter Jackson’s epic remake of KING KONG, her credits include WE DON'T LIVE HERE ANYMORE, which she starred in and produced; THE ASSASSINATION OF RICHARD NIXON, opposite Sean Penn and Don Cheadle; David O. Russell’s I HEART HUCKABEES, with Jude Law and Dustin Hoffman; Marc Forster’s STAY, opposite Ewan McGregor and Ryan Gosling; Gore Verbinski’s THE RING and its sequel, THE RING TWO; Merchant-Ivory’s LE DIVORCE, alongside Kate Hudson, Glenn Close and Stockard Channing; John Curran’s THE PAINTED VEIL, opposite Edward Norton, which was based on W. Somerset Maugham’s novel; David Cronenberg’s drama/thriller EASTERN PROMISES, opposite Viggo Mortensen; and Michael Haneke’s thriller FUNNY GAMES.
Born in England, Watts moved to Australia at the age of 14 and began studying acting. Her first major film role came in John Duigan’s FLIRTING. She produced and starred in the short film ELLIE PARKER, which screened in competition at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival. In 2005, a full length feature of the short debuted at Sundance.
Among her many awards and recognitions, Watts received the Montecito Award from the Santa Barbara Film Festival in 2006 for her role in KING KONG; was honored by the Palm Springs Film Festival in 2003 for 21 GRAMS; and in 2002, was named the Female Star of Tomorrow at ShoWest and received the Breakthrough Acting Award at the Hollywood Film Festival, both for her work in MULHOLLAND DR. She was most recently honored for her entire body of work at the 2011 Deauville Film Festival.