Real name: Naomi Watts
Birthdate: September 28, 1968
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Naomi Ellen Watts (born September 28, 1968) is a British actress known for her roles in Mulholland Drive, the film remakes of The Ring and King Kong, as well as her Academy Award-nominated role in the film 21 Grams.
Watts described her mother as a hippie "with passive-aggressive tendencies" and no money, who used to threaten to send her and her brother to foster care in order to get her parents to provide for them. Although her mother occasionally moved the family around Wales and England, usually to follow boyfriends, she always ended up returning to Llangefni. Watts lived there until she was 14. Then, during a trip to Australia, her mother became convinced it was "the land of opportunities" and moved the family to Sydney in 1982. Her grandmother was Australian, which made it easier to obtain the documentation necessary, since Naomi and her family were entitled to Australian citizenship. Of her nationality, she has said, "I consider myself British and have very happy memories of the UK. I spent the first 14 years of my life in England and never wanted to leave. When I was in Australia I went back to England a lot".
In Sydney, Watts attended several acting schools (and in the very first lesson in the first school, she met Nicole Kidman, with whom she shared a taxi home from class and are still best friends). In 1986 she took a break from acting and went to Japan to work as a model, but the experience, which lasted for about four months, was fruitless as Watts did not have the physical requirements for a professional runway model and could only hope to be working in promotions, which did not excite her. Watts describes it as one of the worst periods of her life. Upon returning to Australia, she went to work for a local department store and from there she went to work as assistant fashion editor with an Australian fashion magazine. She only returned to acting when a casual invitation from a colleague to participate in a small play rekindled her passion for the scenic arts and prompted her to quit her job and dedicate herself to succeeding as an actress.
Finding quality roles in the Hollywood system at first proved difficult for Watts. She appeared in the short-lived series Sleepwalkers and numerous B-list productions such as films like Children of the Corn IV. Gradually, Watts garnered supporting roles, such as Dangerous Beauty.Watts with filmmaker David Lynch at the Cannes Film Festival in 2001.
In 2001, Watts starred in David Lynch's highly acclaimed Mulholland Drive. The film, which premiered at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival, earned Watts mixed reactions amongst critics, with some doubtful of the believability of her acting. However, she won the National Society of Film Critics Award as Best Actress and the National Board of Review award as Breakthrough Performance of the year.
Watts starred in The Painted Veil with Edward Norton and Liev Schreiber, released in December 2006. She has since finished the films Funny Games (a remake of an Austrian movie) with Tim Roth and Eastern Promises with Viggo Mortensen.
On July 24, 2007, The Courier-Mail reported that Naomi Watts had been cast as Narcissa Malfoy in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, with Stuart Townsend and Joseph Fiennes, the younger brother of Ralph Fiennes (Lord Voldemort), also being cast in unspecified roles. On the next day, representatives of Watts, Townsend and Fiennes said that the rumors were not true.