It’s nothing short of a challenge to play Lady Diana, arguably the most famous woman in the world. And actress Naomi Watts, who immortalised the role on screen in Diana, is aware of the expectations. The Australian actress believes the Princess of Wales modernised the Royal Family. “She helped us feel that the Royal Family were human beings, not these untouchable people,”she had said.
The 44-year-old admires Diana’s drive to do normal things, despite being a princess. The movie focuses on the late princess’s relationship with doctor Hasnat Khan in the last two years of her life.
The biopic, which premiered in London earlier this month, met with mixed reactions from critics, with one reviewer suggesting the film “doesn’t offer new facts” about the People’s Princess. Watts tells us about preparing for the role and why she is very private, just like Lady Diana.
How did you prepare yourself?
I went through all of Diana’s footages and interviews to get her accent and expressions right and met her friends and people who knew her.
Why did you turn down the movie twice?
She’s the most famous woman of our time and everyone remembers her so well and loved her so much and I was worried if I would be able to deal with those – with the comparisons and everybody’s opinion. Ultimately, I felt that it was an opportunity. I was also worried about the reaction of her two sons – Prince Harry and Prince William.
Do you find a connection, since you said, you got a go ahead from the princess herself?
The memories from the movie is something that I will keep with me forever. I did in fact feel a connection with her as I felt that she approved every bit of me in the film.
Do you share any of her characteristics?
I am a very private person just like Diana was and love to be associated with missionary work just the way she was. I am very focused in my work and whatever it is that I do, just like she did.
It is said to be a top runner for the Oscars?
We have put a lot of hard work in the movie and we will be very happy if it wins at the Oscars.
About your future projects?
I am looking forward to Birdman, St Vincent, While We’re Young and Queen of the Desert.
Diana is scheduled to release next week