It's been over two years since Naomi Watts wowed American audiences in David Lynch's 2001 head-scratcher Mulholland Drive, but the Aussie actress is still approached by moviegoers looking for answers to that film's many mysteries. "I'm sure I'll be in my slippers with my cane and people will still be asking me the meaning of that movie," she says laughing. "And I just say 'I don't know, talk to David Lynch.'"
Watts may find herself fielding similar questions about her latest movie, 21 Grams (opening Nov. 21). Written by Guillermo Arriaga and directed by Alejandro González Inárritu (the team behind 2001's art-house smash Amores Perros), the film employs a complex narrative structure that skips around in time from scene to scene. The result will no doubt be disconcerting for some audiences, but Watts thinks that most viewers will rise to the challenge. "From my point of view as an audience member, I like to be actively involved in a movie; I like for a lot to be asked of me."
Watts certainly had a lot asked of her as a performer in the flick, where she plays Christina, a happy homemaker, who spirals into a deep depression when her husband and two daughters are killed in a tragic accident. This is the third time in a row the actress has been called upon to play a tortured woman (after Mulholland Drive and The Ring), but she doesn't seem to mind the heavy drama. "I actually find it quite liberating; it's cleansing and you can purge emotion. Not that I'm only looking for dark pieces I do have some lighter films coming up."
One of them could be Peter Jackson's King Kong. In September, Variety reported that Watts had been offered the lead role in the sure-to-be blockbuster and she confirms that she has met with Jackson to discuss the part. "I've always admired him, even before The Lord of the Rings," she says. "And the King Kong story is so iconic. There's something really simple, beautiful and heartbreaking about it and he would take it to a whole new level." Plus, gorillas are always good for a few laughs.