Naomi Watts’ career has entered an exciting new chapter. Not unlike Nicole Kidman, her BFF of more than 30 years, the British-born Aussie actress has seen a new wave of work come her way, with a starring role in Netflix’s psychological thriller series “Gypsy” after a stint on Showtime’s “Twin Peaks.”
“I feel like we’re witnessing a real marked change for women our age,” the 48-year-old tells amNewYork. “I think the world is making that happen.”
She’s also been shooting an adaptation of “Hamlet” told from the perspective of Ophelia, the Prince of Denmark’s doomed love interest. “Ophelia” stars Daisy Ridley in the title role, while Watts portrays Gertrude, Hamlet’s mom and the Queen of Denmark.
In “Gypsy” we see Watts as New York City therapist Jean Halloway. Ethically questionable at best, the slow-burn series follows Jean as she tangles herself into the personal lives of her patients.
We recently caught up with Watts to talk “Gypsy,” reuniting with David Lynch and more.
What was it about “Gypsy” that excited you?
I basically loved the character. [Producer] Sam Taylor-Johnson brought it to my attention and then once I read it, I just thought, “Wow, this is just a great exploration of this woman’s identity.”
What was most challenging about playing Jean?
I mean, obviously, I didn’t agree with a lot of the things she was doing and her choices. But, that is kind of why I like the material. It felt like a cautionary tale to me. You know, we all have bad thoughts, we all have bad seeds. I think a lot of us have fantasized about having a whole other life or running away and reinventing one’s self. But, she is actually acting upon those desires and thoughts.
You reunited with David Lynch recently for “Twin Peaks,” 16 years after “Mulholland Drive.” What was that like?
It was just so great to be in this company again. I will take any opportunity that I can get to be in the same room with David. He is so inspiring, and his world is so magical. Everything is great. He has one great idea after another. It was just great to be in his presence and it all came running back to me, how fun it is.
What makes him so much fun to work with?
Well, he is always talking on that megaphone, I don’t know if you know that . . . Even if he’s three feet away from you. It’s so funny. Everything he says, it’s funny! The way he says it, the actual things he says. It’s like he is stuck in another era. And, the language he uses, you know, the kind that you remember from cereal commercials that you might have seen in 1952.
You live in NYC but we’ve never seen you on the stage. Will we?
I plan on getting around to it. It’s been difficult for whatever reason to find the right material. Also, I won’t lie to you, there is a little bit of fear involved. I left it so long and I do have a degree of stage fright. But I also have to find the right material. ... I would love to think that I could find a brand-new piece of material, but it’s hard no matter what. I’d like to think it would be a modern piece. Like a brand-new piece.